Second woman accuses Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault – The Washington Post
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Second woman accuses Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault – The Washington Post

Jenna Portnoy

Reporter covering Virginia, Maryland and D.C. congressional delegations

A Maryland lady said Friday she was raped by Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) in a “premeditated and aggressive” assault in 2000, though they both of those had been undergraduate learners at Duke University. She is the second girl this 7 days to make an accusation of sexual assault.

The girl, Meredith Watson, mentioned Friday in a published statement via her lawyer that she shared her account promptly after it took place with several classmates and pals. Watson did not discuss publicly Friday and her law firm did not make her readily available for an job interview.

Fairfax denied the allegations forcefully.

“I deny this most recent unsubstantiated allegation,” Fairfax explained in a assertion. “It is demonstrably false. I have by no means forced myself on any individual ever.”

Watson was buddies with Fairfax at Duke but they hardly ever dated or experienced any passionate partnership, Watson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, explained.

“At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a solid sense of civic obligation and her belief that people searching for or serving in community place of work ought to be of the highest character,” Smith stated in the assertion . “She has no curiosity in starting to be a media character or reliving the trauma that has greatly afflicted her daily life. Similarly, she is not trying to get any economical damages.”

Watson wants Fairfax to resign from business office, Smith claimed.

Fairfax’s assertion stated he would not resign. “I desire a entire investigation into these unsubstantiated and wrong allegations” the assertion said. “I will very clear my excellent name and I have very little to disguise. I have handed two whole subject track record checks by the FBI and run for business office in two highly contested elections with practically nothing like this remaining lifted in advance of. “

Watson’s declare will come at the conclusion of a turbulent week that started when a different woman, Vanessa Tyson, accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in 2004 when the two had been in Boston attending the Democratic National Conference.

[Tyson has spoken for decades about the sexual assault difficulty]

Fairfax denied that he assaulted Tyson, said he was the sufferer of a “smear” and has said repeatedly that they had a consensual come upon.

Smith stated the specifics of Watson’s alleged attack are identical to individuals described by Tyson.

Kaneedreck Adams, 40, who attended Duke with Watson, claimed that in the spring of 2000, when they lived across from every single other in on-campus apartments, Watson came to her crying.

“She was upset,” Adams, an attorney, mentioned. “She explained to me she had been raped and she named Justin.”

“She stated she could not talk, but she was trying to get up and he stored pushing her down,” Adams. “She stated he realized that she did not like what was happening, but he held pushing her down.”

The alleged attack occurred at fraternity property, Adams stated.

She mentioned both the gals were being buddies with Fairfax, who was 1 year forward of them in college. “We all realized he wished to be in politics,” Adams claimed. “He had a track record for staying very helpful. Some of my good friends, we named him sunshine. He was a good sweet charming male.”

Watson’s legal professional provided an electronic mail trade from 2016 concerning Watson and Milagros Joye Brown, a friend from Duke. Brown was inviting a group of Duke good friends to a fundraiser for Fairfax, as he introduced his marketing campaign for lieutenant governor.

“Molly, Justin raped me in college and I really don’t want to listen to nearly anything about him. Make sure you, you should, be sure to remove me variety any long term email messages about him make sure you,” Watson wrote on Oct. 26, 2016.

[An isolated governor all three officeholders under hearth]

All 7 days, Democrats and Republicans have been treading diligently about Tyson’s allegation, doubtful what to believe that for the reason that Tyson presented no corroborating proof. Various have referred to as for an investigation.

Watson’s declare is probably to even further stoke chaos in Richmond, wherever a person week in the past, a racist picture on the 1984 health care college yearbook page of Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was unearthed, environment off phone calls for his resignation. On Wednesday, Legal professional Typical Mark R. Herring disclosed that he wore blackface as portion of a costume in the course of college in 1980.

On Friday, Northam told his leading staff associates throughout a late afternoon meeting that he will not resign from office environment and intends to provide out the remaining 3 a long time of his phrase.

Immediately after Watson’s allegations became community Friday. former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe termed for Fairfax to resign.

“The allegations from Justin Fairfax are serious and credible,” McAuliffe claimed in a statement. “It is clear to me that he can no lengthier proficiently provide the persons of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I simply call for his quick resignation.” McAuliffe has equally called for Northam’s resignation.

If Northam have been to stage down, Fairfax would be following in line. And he was planning to do just that, just after scandal enveloped Northam and ahead of Tyson accused Fairfax of sexual assault.

Fairfax, a 39-calendar year-old former federal prosecutor, has been a soaring star in Democratic politics. The excellent-fantastic-terrific-grandson of a slave, he is the 2nd African American to keep statewide office environment in Virginia.

Right up until this week, Fairfax was finest recognized for silently protesting the state Senate’s yearly tribute to Confederate Basic Robert E. Lee.

Aaron C. Davis, Neena Satija, Rachel Chason, Fenit Nirappil and Samantha Schmidt contributed to this report.

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