A second woman has stepped forward to accuse Virginia Democrat Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of raping her, which comes just days after a different woman, Vanessa Tyson, accused Fairfax of assaulting her in 2004.
The second accuser, Meredith Watson, made the accusations in a letter that was released by her lawyers:
Request for Resignation of Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax
We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive. 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. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her.
Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.
At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character. She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.
On behalf of our client, we have notified Justin Fairfax through his attorneys that Ms. Watson hopes he will resign from public office. Nancy Erika Smith, Attorney for Meredith Watson
“Kaneedreck Adams, 40, an attorney who attended Duke with Watson and said in the spring of 2000, when they lived across from each other in on-campus apartments, Watson came to her crying,” The Washington Post reported.
“She was upset,” Adams said. “She told me she had been raped and she named Justin.”
Within minutes of the allegations being made public, prominent Democrats began calling for Fairfax to resign.
“The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible,” former Virginia Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe. “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.”
“With this second serious and credible allegation of sexual assault, Justin Fairfax should resign,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) tweeted. “This is not a partisan issue.”
“The multiple detailed allegations against the Lt. Gov. of Virginia are deeply troubling,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted. “They are serious, credible, and corroborated by others. It is no longer appropriate for him to serve. He should resign.”
Fairfax responded to the second allegation with the following statement:
I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever.
I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations. Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth.
I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide. I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before.
It is obvious that a vicious smear and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me.
I will not resign.