Virginia lieutenant governor on sexual assault allegations: 'The interactions were consensual'

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Gov. Justin Fairfax released a new statement Saturday evening vowing not to resign and calling on the FB to investigate the two sexual assault allegations made against him. He said an accusation by a second woman that he raped her when they were both students at Duke University in 2000 was "demonstrably false" and has demanded a full investigation.

The statement from Watson's attorney said Fairfax used knowledge of her prior rape to plan his own attack on her in 2000.

According to Ms Watson's legal representatives Smith Mullin, former classmates have provided statements corroborating Ms Watson's allegations and stating that she "immediately told friends that Mr Fairfax had raped her". Just days ago, Scripps College professor Vanessa Tyson released her own detailed account of an alleged assault by Fairfax in a Boston hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention - a claim Fairfax also denies.

Many elected officials and presidential hopefuls have called for Fairfax to resign after two women went public with allegations of sexual assault this week. "This is part of the sad and dark politics that the Lt. Governor has dedicated himself to helping Virginia and the nation rise above".

"Justin Fairfax doesn't seem to have many, if any, Democrats who are out there defending him which leads me to ask 'what did you know?'" she said.

Fairfax denied the first allegation in a February 6 statement.

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In so doing, Northam defied practically the entire Democratic Party, which rose up against him after a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced and he acknowledged wearing blackface in the 1980s.

In an official statement, Fairfax strongly denied Tyson's allegations, insisting that the encounter was "consensual".

Fairfax, who is black, has denied both claims and called them a "co-ordinated smear campaign". "And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign". Northam said the experience, as well as week of reports highlighting his behavior, has taught him that the incident could be therapeutic.

Virginia's current governor, Ralph Northam, as well its attorney general, Mark Herring, have been embroiled in a controversy surrounding use of blackface for the past week. Northam had originally admitted that he was one of the people in that photo, but later said that he was not.

Boyd, whose group says it represents 109,000 farmers across the country, said on Twitter afterward that he pledged his support to the governor and "urged him NOT to step down". Cox - a Republican, and third in line for governor should Northam step down - said in a statement that Fairfax's ability to govern has been "permanently impaired" by the "multiple, serious credible allegations" of sexual assault. "I have never forced myself on anyone ever", he said.

Calls for Fairfax to step aside have come from state House and Senate Democrats, the Legislative Black Caucus, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's two USA senators - Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, also both Democrats - and several potential Democratic presidential hopefuls.

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