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Second woman accuses Va. Lt. Gov. of sexual assault

Feb. 9 (UPI) — A second woman has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, prompting more calls for the resignation of a Virginia state official.

Meredith Watson publicly accused Fairfax on Friday of raping her nearly two decades ago while they were Duke University students, The New York Times reported.

His actions were “premeditated and aggressive,” Watson said in a statement, demanding he immediately resign.

Days earlier, another woman, named Vanessa Tyson, accused the lieutenant governor of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Their accusations followed the emergence of a racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page of the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. The photo shows two individuals, one wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Northam denied he was in the photograph but admitted last Saturday he once wore blackface as part of a costume to look like pop star Michael Jackson in the mid-1980s. Northam, a Democrat, has faced calls to resign from prominent figures within his party but has not stepped down.

On Wednesday, the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, admitted he wore blackface while dressing as a rapper at a college party in 1980.

Tyson said the encounter at a Boston hotel room while she and Fairfax were working at the DNC in 2004 began with kissing that was “not unwelcome,” but escalated quickly to non-consensual oral sex.

Fairfax has denied both accusations, saying that the incident with Tyson was consensual and calling Watson’s accusation “demonstrably false.” He’s called for a “full investigation,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

“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.”

In light of the accusations, several Democratic leaders and the Virginia Legislative Back Caucus have called for him to resign, saying he “could no longer fulfill his duties to the commonwealth.” Rep. Patrick Hope said that he would introduce articles of impeachment by Monday if he doesn’t resign.

“I will not resign,” Fairfax said in a statement.

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