Booker, Gillibrand, Warren call on Fairfax to resign after rape allegation

Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling on Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) to resign after a second woman came forward to accuse him of sexual assault.

Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHillicon 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 Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Energy: Gillibrand offers bill to ban pesticide from school lunches | Interior secretary met tribal lawyer tied to Zinke casino dispute | Critics say EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use Trump says he'd like to run against Buttigieg Gillibrand introduces bill to ban harmful pesticide from school lunch MORE (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Defense: Reports detail effect of transgender military ban | Watchdog auditing 8 billion submarine program | Warren questions top general on climate change Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms Warren praises Ocasio-Cortez in Time 100 MORE (D-Mass.) called for Fairfax to step down on Friday, hours after a woman accused him of raping her. Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEx-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Pollster says Trump's approval rating in 2020 will be impacted by Dem nominee 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall MORE (D-Calif.) joined the calls later in the evening.

"The allegations by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson are corroborated, painful stories of sexual assault and rape. It’s clear Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax should resign his office," Harris tweeted.

Lawyers for Meredith Watson released a statement Friday saying Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University, adding that the alleged attack was “premeditated and aggressive.”

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Fairfax denied the allegation in a statement Friday evening, claiming it was part of “a vicious and coordinated smear campaign” and vowing not to resign.

“I have never forced myself on anyone ever,” he said in the statement reported by Fox 5 DC. He called for a "full investigation" into the allegations to clear his name.

Vanessa Tyson was the first woman to accuse Fairfax of misconduct earlier this week, saying he sexually assaulted her 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 Wednesday. “Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him.”

Fairfax has admitted the two had a sexual encounter at the time, but says it was consensual.

While Democratic politicians had at first been hesitant to weigh in on the scandal, others joined Booker on Friday in calling for Fairfax’s ouster after Watson's account became public.

The scandal surrounding Fairfax comes as another embroils Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) over the use of blackface decades ago.

Updated: 8:50 p.m.