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Virginia’s very messy political situation just got even MORE messier. That’s because a second woman has come forward accusing the state’s Lt. Governor, Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

Through her attorney, Meredith Watson said that Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were students at Duke University.

Watson’s lawyer, who also sent a letter to Virginia lawmakers, said his client was coming forward out of a sense of civic duty after learning about allegations disclosed earlier this week by Vanessa C. Tyson, a political science professor at Scripps College, who said she was assaulted by Mr. Fairfax in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention.

“The details of Ms. Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson,” said the statement, released by Nancy Erika Smith, a New Jersey lawyer representing Ms. Watson. The statement described the rape as “premeditated and aggressive.’’

This information comes on the heels of Dr. Tyson’s statement that provided a detailed account of her encounter with Lt. Gov. Fairfax. Her allegations deepened the political leadership crisis in Virginia, where the governor and attorney general are facing calls to resign after admitting in recent days that they donned blackface as younger men. Fairfax denied he had ever assaulted Dr. Tyson.

Karen Kessler, a spokeswoman for Watson, said in an interview that she is not planning on litigation or seeking financial compensation.

“She has been concerned and angered by what she’s been reading about another victim so she decided to tell her story,” said Kessler.

A spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Fairfax wasn’t immediately available for comment

The Reporter Newspaper
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