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 HironoIf only woke protesters knew how close they were to meaningful police reform Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Senate Democrats call on Facebook to crack down on white supremacists 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 BookerSenators push foreign media to disclose if they are registered as foreign agents Joe Biden must release the results of his cognitive tests — voters need to know GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday MORE (D-N.J.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar 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.