Top Democrats, including Sen. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, on Friday called on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign after a second woman came forward to accuse him of sexual assault. “Lieutenant Governor Fairfax should resign. The allegations against him detail atrocious crimes, and he can no longer effectively serve the Commonwealth,” Kaine said in a statement.
“The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation,” McAuliffe wrote on Twitter.
Meredith Watson, the second woman to accuse him of sexual assault this week, released a statement Friday afternoon through her lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith. The rape allegedly took place in 2000, when Watson and Fairfax were both students at Duke University.
“Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her,” the statement by Smith said. Smith added that the details of Fairfax’s alleged attack on Watson were similar to what Fairfax’s first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, described.
“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,” Smith said. “She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.”
The statement said Smith has reached out to Fairfax on behalf of Watson to urge him to resign.
In a statement, Fairfax denies the allegation and refuses to step down.