Second woman accuses Virginia deputy governor of assault – BBC News

Second woman accuses Virginia deputy governor of assault – BBC News

Virginia Lt gov Justin Fairfax

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Mr Fairfax has now been accused of sexual assault by two ladies

A second woman has come ahead to accuse the deputy governor of scandal-plagued Virginia of sexual assault.

Meredith Watson alleges Lt Governor Justin Fairfax raped her in 2000 when they had been each pupils at Duke College in North Carolina.

Mr Fairfax, a Democrat, has denied the newest allegation, stating he is the target of a smear marketing campaign.

The governor of Virginia and state’s attorney common are in the meantime each embroiled in racism rows.

What does she say and he say?

Mr Fairfax’s first accuser, Vanessa Tyson, arrived forward last 7 days to allege he compelled her to execute oral intercourse on him in his resort area at the Democratic celebration convention in Boston in 2004.

On Friday, a legislation organization symbolizing the second lady, Meredith Watson, issued a statement on her behalf outlining her allegation.

She reported “Mr Fairfax’s assault was premeditated and aggressive” and the particulars “are comparable to people described by Dr Vanessa Tyson”.

According to Ms Watson’s lawful associates Smith Mullin, former classmates have delivered statements corroborating Ms Watson’s allegations and stating that she “quickly explained to mates that Mr Fairfax experienced raped her”.

She suggests she was pals with Mr Fairfax when they studied at Duke University, but that they never ever had a passionate romance.

Ms Watson is not trying to get any damages, her attorney says, but “arrived forward out of a potent feeling of civic responsibility” and hopes Mr Fairfax will resign from public workplace.

Mr Fairfax, 39, mentioned in a assertion to US media: “I deny this hottest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably bogus. I have never ever forced myself on anybody ever.”

He demanded a entire investigation to “clear my great name”.

“I have passed two complete field qualifications checks by the FBI and run for business in two hugely contested elections with nothing like this getting elevated right before.

“It is apparent that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is becoming orchestrated in opposition to me.

“I will not resign.”

What’s the response?

Democrats experienced until finally now stopped small of calling for Mr Fairfax to give up, but the most recent allegation opened the floodgates on Friday.

Virginia Democratic associates issued a joint assertion demanding the lieutenant governor phase apart.

“All survivors of sexual violence and harassment ought to have to be supported and listened to,” they reported, “and our motivation to that basic principle is more important than any political thought.”

The state’s former Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, mentioned the allegations towards Mr Fairfax “are major and credible” and identified as for his “instant resignation”.

Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls echoed individuals phone calls.

Is any person corroborating these allegations?

Kaneedreck Adams, a fellow Duke graduate and pal of Ms Watson, explained to the Washington Article she recalled when Ms Watson came to her crying in the spring of 2000.

“She claimed she couldn’t talk, but she was hoping to get up and he stored pushing her down,” claimed Ms Adams.

“She reported the alleged assault took spot at a fraternity home.

“She reported he knew that she didn’t like what was going on, but he retained pushing her down.”

Meanwhile, some have come ahead to corroborate the allegation of the very first accuser, who is now a California faculty lecturer.

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott has advised US media that Prof Tyson had more than a year ago informed him some aspects about the alleged assault.

Two of Prof Tyson’s colleagues and quite a few unnamed buddies told the New York Situations that she experienced relayed the incident to them in the final two years.

Hundreds of lecturers have also signed a letter in aid of Prof Tyson, according to the Instances.

Mr Fairfax has insisted his encounter with Prof Tyson was “a hundred% consensual”.

What about the racism scandal?

Democrats have until now centered their resignation phone calls on Governor Ralph Northam.

A 7 days ago, a picture surfaced from Mr Northam’s 1984 college yearbook site displaying anyone in blackface and yet another human being in Ku Klux Klan robes.

Mr Northam, who is white, apologised for the image, then denied he was in it, even though admitted carrying blackface even though mimicking Michael Jackson on a different celebration that calendar year.

On Friday he despatched an e mail to state workforce signalling his continued defiance of practically universal phone calls for him to give up.

“It has been a agonizing week for all Virginians, and I am deeply sorry for resulting in this distraction from your important work,” he stated.

“Our Commonwealth is in uncharted waters, and many of you are undoubtedly still left perplexed and uncertain about what the long term holds.

He additional: “You have positioned your believe in in me to lead Virginia forward – and I strategy to do that.”

State Legal professional Standard Mark Herring has also admitted a blackface episode in 1980 although he was aged 19 in school.

Democrats have shown a willingness to forgive him mainly because he confessed his “blacking up” disgrace to African-American lawmakers in Virginia ahead of it turned community.

Blackface traces its heritage to nineteenth Century “minstrel” shows that mocked African-Us residents, but it was nonetheless deemed suitable on US comedy shows only in modern many years.