Already embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual assault, another woman has now accused Justin Fairfax of rape, alleging the Virginia lieutenant governor assaulted her during their college years.
According to the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, Meredith Watson says she was raped in 2000, when Fairfax and Watson were students at Duke University in North Carolina, according to a statement from the accuser’s attorney. The statement called the alleged assault “premeditated and aggressive,” adding that Fairfax and Watson never dated or had a 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,” Watson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith wrote in a statement. “Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.”
The statement calls for Fairfax’s resignation and notes that the alleged victim has “no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life.” Smith goes on to say that Watson does not plan to seek financial damages.
This is the second allegation that has publicly surfaced against Fairfax in as many weeks. Dr. Vanessa Tyson has accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her on July 26, 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Fairfax has vehemently denied the allegations. In a statement to The Root about Tyson’s allegations, Fairfax insists that he has “never done anything like what she suggests.”
Lauren Burke, Fairfax’s spokesperson, told the Daily Beast: “We’re calling for an investigation on all of these matters and will be releasing a more detailed statement shortly.”
As Virginia’s second-highest elected official, Fairfax was next in line to assume the governorship if current Gov. Ralph Northam heeded calls for his resignation after two mysterious strangers appeared on the personal page in Northam’s college yearbook wearing a Ku Klux Klan uniform and blackface.