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 HironoDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Overnight Energy: Top Interior lawyer accused of lying to Congress confirmed | Senate set to deny funding for BLM move | EPA threatens to cut California highway funds 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 BookerRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy O'Rourke campaign says path to victory hinges on top 5 finishes in Iowa, Nevada O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes 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.