Second Woman Accuses Fairfax of Sexual Assault

Mairead McArdle

A second woman has come forward to allege that Virginia’s embattled lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, sexually assaulted her.

Meredith Watson’s lawyers put out a statement on Friday detailing her claim that she was raped by Fairfax in 2000 when they were both undergraduates at Duke University.

“Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive,” Watson’s lawyers said. “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,” the statement continued. “Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.”

Earlier this week, college professor Vanessa Tyson alleged in a graphic statement that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Fairfax has forcefully denied both allegations and refused to resign, saying he has “never assaulted anyone.”

“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect,” read a statement from Fairfax’s chief of staff and communications director. “This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above.”

Fairfax is next in line to take over the governorship from scandal-plagued Democratic governor Ralph Northam, who has so far refused to resign despite calls from his prominent members of his own party to do so.

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