Friday, 19 April, 2019


Virginia Lieutenant Governor Faces Second Sexual Misconduct Charge

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax presides over the Senate at the Virginia State Capitol Virginia Lieutenant Governor Faces Second Sexual Misconduct Charge
Bennie Garza | 10 February, 2019, 11:41

A second woman has come forward to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

She said both women who have accused Fairfax have given credible stories, as well as Democratic activists helping them as well.

Fairfax (D) has been accused by two women of sexual assault, the newest of which he said was "demonstrably false".

Ms Watson is not seeking any damages, her lawyer says, but "came forward out of a strong sense of civic duty" and hopes Mr Fairfax will resign from public office.

The law firm also said Watson had "shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession". Tyson said in a statement through her law firm Katz Marshall & Banks: With tremendous anguish, I am now sharing this information about my experience and setting the record straight", "It has been extremely hard to relive that traumatic experience from 2004.

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is seen at the State Capitol in Richmond, Va., on February 4, 2019.

After the second allegation was made Friday, Fairfax - who stands to become the state's second black governor if Gov. Ralph Northam resigns over a racist photo - was barraged with demands to step down from top Democrats, including a number of presidential hopefuls and most of Virginia's congressional delegation. Watson, who now lives in Maryland, did so after she received an email from a college friend in 2016 urging former Duke students to support the campaign of "our good friend Justin".

She left a campus party when he arrived, and he followed her out.

The governor also said in the interview that he would take "a harder line" on moving the state's Confederate monuments, which have become lightning rods for racial division, from public property into museums.

If Fairfax were to leave, there's no consensus on who could replace him.

As the crisis widened 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.

Fairfax has emphatically denied both allegations and said he won't step down. "Two days ago I stated that I believe the claim regarding Lt. Governor Fairfax", Castro wrote. Consequently, I call on all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI, to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me by Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson.

He called top Virginia Democrats, at times almost in tears, to apologize for the controversy and looked to move on by staying out of the limelight.

A Democratic member of the state House, Del.

"As with Dr. Tyson's allegation, it needs to be investigated thoroughly because it impacts his ability to continue to serve the Commonwealth", the Republican Party of Virginia said in a statement.

"She said the alleged assault took place at a fraternity house".

Mr Northam, who is white, apologised for the photo, then denied he was in it, though admitted wearing blackface while mimicking Michael Jackson on a separate occasion that year.

Following news of a second accuser against Fairfax, Democratic state lawmakers in Virginia issued a call for Fairfax to resign, as did the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus. "A lot of individuals across Virginia have been hurt", Northam said in the 1813 Executive Mansion.

"The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia presides over the Virginia Senate and must be prepared to fill the role of Governor", the group wrote in their statement.

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