The Virginia sex scandal is growing bigger and murkier by the day. After a college teacher accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, another woman, Meredith Watson, 39, has alleged that the Democrat had sexually assaulted her almost two decades ago while they were both studying at Duke University.
Amidst mounting tensions and embarrassment, there were calls for Justin Fairfax’s resignation. The lawmaker refused to step down from his office, calling the accusation a “vicious and coordinated smear campaign” to pull him down at an opportune time.
Watson’s attorney released a statement, calling the assault “premeditated and aggressive”. The lawyer said that Watson had immediately informed her friends in college about the rape. The lawyer provided emails Watson had sent to a friend and texts in which the victim says Justin Fairfax had raped her, expressing shock that he was campaigning for political office.
Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, refuted the allegation, saying, “It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever. I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations. “
The Duke University spokesman confirmed that the institute’s police department held no criminal reports against the Democrat. Police authorities in Durham, where Duke is located, also cleared that Fairfax had no criminal case against him.
The scandal comes just two days after a 42-year-old political science professor, Vanessa Tyson, raised a ruckus in Virginia’s political circle by publicly accusing Fairfax of raping her. She said Justin Fairfax assaulted her in a Boston hotel room in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention.
The Democrat on the other hand, defends himself by saying that the encounter with Tyson was totally consensual, and never ever she made him feel that it was forced.
Both the accusers have the same reason for reporting an assault that had happened two decades back: they saw Justin Fairfax running for a political post. While Tyson told her close friends about the assault in October 2017, Watson confided in a college friend in 2016, when she received an email asking Duke Alumni to support Fairfax’s political campaign.
The sexual misconduct charges against Justin Fairfax have created a tornado of sorts in Virginia, which is already trying to grapple calls for the resignation of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam over his 1984 racist photo in medical school yearbook. Fairfax is next in line to take the post of Virginia governor if Northam puts down his papers.