Second woman accuses Va. lieutenant gov of sexual assault

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.

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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 HironoHillicon Valley: Washington preps for Mueller report | Barr to hold Thursday presser | Lawmakers dive into AI ethics | FCC chair moves to block China Mobile | Dem bill targets 'digital divide' | Microsoft denies request for facial recognition tech Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' Overnight Energy: Collins receives more donations from Texas oil, gas industry than from Maine residents | Interior chief left meetings off schedule | Omar controversy jeopardizes Ocasio-Cortez trip to coal mine 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 Anthony BookerButtigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration Sanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina Buttigieg to fundraise in DC with major Obama, Clinton bundlers next month: report MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandButtigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration 2020 Dems call on Mueller to testify about redacted report 2020 Dems blast Barr's defense of Trump before Mueller report's release MORE (D-N.Y.), later joined calls for his ouster.

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.