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UPDATED: Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says second accusation of sexual assault 'demonstrably false'
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UPDATED: Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says second accusation of sexual assault 'demonstrably false'

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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate inside the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, VA Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. New allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced as another woman came forward Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax says second accusation of sexual assault 'demonstrably false'

A second woman has come forward and accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

An attorney for Meredith Watson issued a statement Friday afternoon saying Watson was raped by Fairfax while the two were students at Duke University. Watson and Fairfax were friends, the statement said, but never dated.

"Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive," said Watson's lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith.

With the accusation, Watson is the second woman this week to accuse Fairfax, who would become governor should embattled Gov. Ralph Northam resign, of sexual assault. Fairfax denied the first claim — stemming from an incident at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston — saying the incident was consensual.

Fairfax called the accusation "demonstrably false" and called for a "full investigation" into the allegations.

"Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth," Fairfax said in a statement. "I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide."

Smith said Watson told friends about the rape in emails and Facebook messages. She added that Watson was "upset to learn" about the other alleged assault.

"The details of Ms. Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson," Smith said, referring to Fairfax's first accuser.

Watson is calling for Fairfax to resign. So is Del. Lee Carter, D-Manassas.

“In light of the multiple credible allegations against Lt. Gov. Fairfax, I hereby call for his immediate resignation,” Carter said in a statement.

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe also called for Fairfax's resignation.

In his statement, Fairfax said, "I will not resign.”

Full Watson statement:

We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship.

Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.

Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.

At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character. She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.

On behalf of our client, we have notified Justin Fairfax through his attorneys that Ms. Watson hopes he will resign from public office.

Nancy Erika Smith, Attorney for Meredith Watson

Full Fairfax statement

I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever.

I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations. Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth.

I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide. I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before.

It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me.

I will not resign.

Justin Fairfax, Lt. Gov.

jmattingly@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6012

Twitter: @jmattingly306​

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