A second women has publicly accused Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, of sexual assault. Meredith Watson said she was raped by Fairfax in 2000 when they were students at Duke University.
Watson said Fairfax’s attack was “premeditated and aggressive,” and calls for the Lt. Governor to resign. “Mrs. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession,” her statement said.
Fairfax denied the allegations as “demonstrably false” and has demanded an investigation to confirm his account. “I will clear my good name and have nothing to hide.” He has not indicated whether he is thinking of stepping down at this time. According to Watson’s statement, the two were friends at Duke but never dated or had a romantic relationship.
Statement from Justin Fairfax via spox —> pic.twitter.com/y2B67vKigs
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) February 8, 2019
Watson’s accusation comes after another woman, Vanessa Tyson, came forward earlier this week with her own sexual assault allegations against Fairfax. Tyson alleges she had an encounter with Fairfax in 2004, in which she was forced to perform oral sex on him.
Fairfax denied Tyson’s allegations and said they were not credible because The Washington Post found “significant red flags and inconsistencies within the allegation,” when they investigated it over a year ago.
The Washington Post has denied Fairfax’s statement, but argued that they did not meet the Post’s standard for publishing uncorroborated claims. One factor the Post takes into account, according to a statement given by Executive Editor Martin Baron is whether, “There a verifiable pattern of harassment or assault that involves more than the one accuser who has brought allegations to us.”
It now seems that if the newspaper had investigated these claims further, or spoken to past contacts of Fairfax’s like they claimed to have, they could have found that there is indeed an existing pattern.
Former Virginia Governor Terry called for Fairfax to resign immediately:
The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible. It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation.
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) February 8, 2019
You can read Watson’s full statement here: