Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax accused of second sexual assault

VMI yearbook showing students in blackface.

But Friday's accusation sparked a round of calls for his resignation, and even the threat of impeachment.

Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott has told U.S. media that Prof Tyson had over a year ago told him some details about the alleged assault. "Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax must resign".

Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately turned against him. If you demand evidence of a pattern of misconduct before you believe an accuser, effectively you're giving everyone one free assault before they begin to lose the benefit of the doubt.

In a statement, Fairfax said: "I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation". The release said the attack was "premeditated and aggressive", and that Watson told friends about the rape in a series of Facebook messages and emails. Kaneedreck Adams, a friend of Watson's at Duke who lived across the hall in on-campus housing, said that one day in the spring semester of 2000, Watson entered her room crying. While Northam has denied that he is in the photo, many people across the nation have called on him to resign. "We believe survivors, we believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson, we believe Meredith Watson". It is demonstrably false. Tyson alleges she had an encounter with Fairfax in 2004, in which she was forced to perform oral sex on him.

Fairfax had briefly seemed poised earlier this week to succeed Northam to become the second African-American governor in Virginia's history.

"Mr. Fairfax put his hand behind my neck and forcibly pushed my head towards his crotch", Tyson wrote.

"As one of seven working on a 359-page yearbook, I can not endorse or associate myself with every photo, entry, or word on each page", he wrote, adding he did not appear in or take any of the photos in question. "Only then did I notice that he had unbuckled his belt, unzipped his trousers, and taken out his penis".

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Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, is publicly calling for Fairfax to step down. Fairfax has denied the allegation and called the 2004 interaction, which both say took place in Boston at the Democratic National Convention, "100 percent consensual". In a sign that he meant to return to business as usual, he also announced more than a dozen appointments to state boards.

If Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring all resign, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would be in charge.

Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls echoed those calls. "My heart goes out to these courageous women and their families", Warren said on Twitter.

As the crisis deepened in the middle of the week, Democratic leaders and black members of the Virginia legislature appeared willing to give both Fairfax and Herring the benefit of the doubt for the time being - in Herring's case, because he apologized personally for wearing blackface.

The Virginia state government has now seen all three of its top statewide elected leaders facing scandal.

Watson's claim is likely to further stoke chaos in Richmond, where one week ago, a racist photo on the 1984 medical school yearbook page of Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was unearthed, setting off calls for his resignation.

If Northam, Fairfax and the attorney general, Mark Herring, are all forced to resign it would mean that the next in line to become governor would be a Republican.

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