Second Woman Accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of Sexual Assault

Frederick Owens
February 9, 2019

Watson was friends with Fairfax at Duke but they never dated or had any romantic relationship, her lawyer said. The Associated Press is not reporting the details because the allegation it has not been corroborated.

In a statement, Fairfax said: "I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation". It is demonstrably false.

"With 114 editions of The Bomb available online dating back to 1885, I am not surprised that those wanting to engulf Republican leaders in the current situations involving the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general would highlight the yearbook from my graduation a half century ago", Norment said.

Virginia's congressional Democratic delegation have hinted at a possible pathway for easing a week-old political crisis that has embroiled Governor Ralph Northam and two fellow Democrats at the top of the state's executive branch.

Virginia's two USA senators and seven Democratic congressmen released a joint statement saying the sexual assault accusation must be investigated, and Herring must continue to have "in-depth discussions" if he is to regain the public's trust.

On Saturday, though, the governor reversed course and said he wasn't in the picture.

Fairfax, 39 - who is first in line to succeed Northam and would thus become only the second African-American to lead the state - had been noncommittal about whether he thought Northam should resign before coming under a cloud himself. Northam has denied being in the photo, and has thus far refused to step down.

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Almost the entire Virginia Democratic establishment, as well as almost every Democratic presidential hopeful, called on him to resign.

Ralph Northam faces calls for his resignation, the Virginia Senate majority leader says he was an editor of a VMI yearbook that featured racist photos, including photos showing blackface and racial slurs.

Should all three Democrats resign, the governorship would go to the state House Speaker, who is a Republican.

On Friday, a law firm representing the second woman, Meredith Watson, issued a statement on her behalf outlining her allegation.

"It has been a painful week for all Virginians, and I am deeply sorry for causing this distraction from your important work".

Asked if he sees Northam as a partner in that fight against racism, Steele said, "I don't know but I am happy to be here". Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe were among the first. "We respect all survivors and believe they should be fully heard", the House Democrats' statement says. "Nor will I request any other official to resign until it is obvious that they have committed a crime in office or their ability to serve is irredeemably compromised", Petersen wrote on Facebook.

Northam said last Friday that he was in the picture. Under Massachusetts law, the statute of limitations is 15 years for rape and several related crimes, an interval that would expire this summer for the woman's accusation.

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