A second woman has come forward to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, spurring numerous calls from members of his party for him to resign.
A lawyer for Meredith Watson said in a statement Friday that Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University.
The alleged attack was "premeditated and aggressive," the statement said. It added that Watson and Fairfax were friends but did not have a romantic relationship.
According to her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, Watson told several friends her account of sexual assault immediately after it happened.
Fairfax denied the allegation in a statement Friday evening, claiming it was part of “a vicious and coordinated smear campaign” and vowing, “I will not resign.”
“I have never forced myself on anyone ever,” he said in the statement reported by Fox 5 DC.
Fairfax called for a "full investigation" into the allegations, saying, "I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide."
Despite the denial, Fairfax faced mounting calls to resign on Friday night, with former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), members of the Virginia Democratic Party and at least half a dozen members of Congress from the Commonwealth saying he should step down.
Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema Dems worry they'll be boxed out without changes to filibuster, voting rules MORE (D-Hawaii) also called for Fairfax to resign, citing what she called a "second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault." Several Senate colleagues who are running for president, including Cory BookerCory BookerDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Bass raises nearly million since launching LA mayor campaign CNN legal analyst knocks GOP senator over remark on Biden nominee MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India Schumer vows to push forward with filibuster change: 'The fight is not over' MORE (D-N.Y.), later joined calls for his ouster.
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.— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign. This is not a partisan issue.— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) February 8, 2019
Watson is the second woman to come forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.
Vanessa Tyson came forward earlier this week saying that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault," Tyson, a college professor from California, said in a statement.
Fairfax has denied the allegation, saying that their interactions were consensual.
"At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions," he said in a statement.
The top three Democratic politicians in Virginia all face deepening controversy, with members of their own party calling for them to step down.
Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has resisted calls to resign amid backlash over a photo of a person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe on his page in a 1984 medical school yearbook.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) has also said he wore blackface during a party in 1980 while in college. He issued a statement earlier this week apologizing.
One Virginia House of Delegates member said Friday that he would introduce articles of impeachment for Fairfax on Monday unless the lieutenant governor resigns before then.
—Updated at 8:58 p.m.