Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax calls for investigation into sexual assault allegations

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax calls for investigation into sexual assault allegations

On Friday afternoon, a second woman came forward accusing Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

The lawyer said Watson also told friends - including Fairfax - about the earlier incident.

The law firm said Watson had "shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession". Following inquiries from AP and other media, Watson's lawyer confirmed that while in college she accused another man, a basketball player at Duke, of raping her when she was a sophomore. Another woman said Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004.

One state House member, Democrat Patrick Hope, said on Twitter that he planned to introduce articles of impeachment for Fairfax on Monday unless he resigned before then. "This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above".

In response to the allegation, Fairfax in his Saturday statement said: "I heard from Dr. Tyson after the 2004 Convention, and she never said or otherwise indicated that our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort". Fairfax denied Watson's claims.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ralph Northam has faced calls for his resignation by fellow Democrats after it was revealed that there was a photo on his page in his medical school yearbook of a person in blackface next to another in a KKK uniform. In a statement a spokesperson provided to NPR, Fairfax wrote that "in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual".

Fairfax denied the allegation and said in a statement: "I will not resign".

"At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character", the first statement said.

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The statement said it was a "premeditated and aggressive" assault and that while Watson and Fairfax had been social friends, they were never involved romantically.

"That's all due to the Democrats in Virginia, they've done a terrific job - the three Democrats at the top - of making it easier for Republicans to defend Donald Trump", Sabato said.

Expanding Medicaid past year was a good start, he said, but state government needs to be aggressive about enrolling residents.

State Attorney General Mark Herring has also admitted a blackface episode in 1980 while he was aged 19 in college.

"I am writing to let you know that Justin Fairfax will be asked to step down from the Sanford School Board of Visitors pending the resolution of the serious and deeply distressing allegations that have been made against him", wrote Judith Kelley, dean of the Sanford School, in an email to the Sanford community Friday night.

As the reports of Fairfax's second accuser filtered through Congress, multiple Democratic lawmakers called for his resignation. Sen.

Northam and Herring are struggling to affirm their respect for African-Americans after acknowledging they wore blackface once decades ago.

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