State Watch

Second Fairfax accuser speaks out about alleged assault

Meredith Watson, the second of two women to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, told her side of the story on Tuesday, saying in an interview CBS’s Gayle King the incident was “a huge betrayal.”

Watson told King that Fairfax knew she had been sexually assaulted before and that she now believes he targeted her knowing that history.

{mosads}Watson told King that Fairfax assaulted and raped her in 2000 while they were both attending Duke University.

“It was a huge betrayal. He was my friend. I don’t understand how you do that to somebody that you’ve been a friend to and who’s confided in you about things. I just don’t understand how you do that,” she said.

Watson said she confronted Fairfax about the alleged assault on a later occasion when he followed her out of an on-campus party. 

“And I was just running trying to get away and then I finally stopped and I turned around. And all I said to him was, ‘Why? Why would you do that to me?’” Watson told King. “And he said, ‘I knew because of what happened to you last year that if I got you in the right situation, you would be too afraid to say or do anything about it.'”

Fairfax’s other accuser, Vanessa Tyson, made similar claims to King on Monday, saying that she believes Fairfax targeted her knowing that she worked at a rape crisis center. Tyson has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at a Boston hotel during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Fairfax has denied all the allegations, telling CBS earlier this week that he maintains his innocence and calling for a full investigation into the matter. Last weekend, his attorney claimed Fairfax passed polygraph examinations on both Watson’s and Tyson’s allegations. 

“Given that Ms. Watson is alleging that she did not raise her allegation against Mr. Fairfax because Duke mishandled her earlier rape allegation against a Duke basketball player, why is no one demanding further information from the University?” a Fairfax spokeswoman said in a statement to The Hill.

Both women came forward earlier in 2019 amid speculation that Fairfax would replace Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has faced calls to resign over a blackface scandal.


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