Virginia Lieutenant Governor Faces Second Sexual Misconduct Charge

Reuters

"There are ongoing inequities to access to things like education, health care, mortgages, capital, entrepreneurship", Northam told the Post. "And so this has been a real, I think, an awakening for Virginia".

The possibility of all three top-ranked leaders of Virginia's executive branch having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats losing the governorship to the Republican Speaker of the state House of Delegates, who is next in the line of succession. "And so we're ready to learn from our mistakes", Northam told the Post.

Northam at first admitted he was in the picture, then denied it a day later, but acknowledged he once put shoe polish on his face to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984.

The allegations have surfaced in the harsh glare of the national spotlight, which was initially drawn to Virginia by a separate controversy involving Gov. Ralph Northam.

He said he will ensure that there will be "sensitivity training" in the government, adding that he will also reach out to schools across Virginia to talk about sensitivity training as well.

Fairfax's first accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, alleges that he forced her to perform a sexual act at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The five lawmakers who issued the joint statement wrote that Fairfax had "shown exceptionally poor judgment in his handling" of the sexual assault allegations. "To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent".

Meredith Watson, a classmate of Fairfax's at Duke University, claims that he assaulted her in college in 2000 in an "attack [that] was premeditated and aggressive".

Fairfax went on to say that spoke to both Tyson and Watson after their "interactions" and that neither woman indicated to him that "our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort".

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"What she told us was pretty much exactly what was in the statement that she released but with vastly less detail", said Elizabeth Armstrong, a fellow at Stanford with Tyson.

Watson's allegation, which was made public Friday afternoon, said that the pair were friends but never dated.

"This is the second serious sexual assault allegation leveled against the Lieutenant Governor in the past week", Wilson said.

Fairfax promptly denied the allegations and said he will not resign. "I want to stand here in that truth and restate that my truth, as well as the truth of Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson, should be fully investigated and thoroughly assessed", Fairfax's statement said, also calling on the FBI to "investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me".

"It is obvious that a vicious and co-ordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me".

Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls echoed those calls. Democrats, including Kamala Harris, called for an investigation into the allegation, though many in the party did not call for Fairfax's resignation because Tyson did not offer corroborating accounts.

While she is not calling for any criminal or civil action to be taken against Fairfax, she says he should step down.

"Allegations of sexual assault need to be taken seriously".

"It did become heated". "And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign". "The leak. And I wanted him to know, unequivocally that I had nothing to do with it".

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