One of the accusers of Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is demanding action from the Virginia State Legislature for the Lt. Gov.’s refusal to resign over the accusations of sexual misconduct.
“I want some action from the Virginia legislature,” Meredith Watson told CBS News. “I want the people of Virginia to know the truth, and I would like the Virginia legislature to do the right thing.”
Watson has charged Fairfax with raping her in 2000 when they both were attending Duke University.
WATCH: Meredith Watson claims VA’s Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax assaulted and raped her in 2000, when they were both students at Duke University — allegations he strongly denies.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 2, 2019
Watson and Dr. Vanessa Tyson came forward to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault back in February but since then Fairfax, who has called the accusations a “vicious and coordinated smear campaign,” has refused to step down over the claims.
Fairfax has admitted being intimate with the women but has denied there was ever any coercion or assault.
The State Democrat Party briefly pressured Fairfax to step down but did not press the issue once Fairfax refused to agree.
Tyson insisted that she still wants Fairfax to resign.
“I’d want him to resign,” Tyson told CBS This Morning. “I think the Virginia people, the voters of Virginia, have a right to know both my story and Meredith’s story.”
For her part, Watson lamented that she didn’t have the courage to come forward in 2000 when she said Fairfax abused her.
“Had I had the strength or the courage to say something in 2000, maybe it never would have happened to her,” Watson told CBS. “And I know the pain that she has had to live with, and nobody should have to go through this.”
Watson also went on the attack.
“There’s this expectation that we are supposed to protect our black men at all costs, and there has been this idea that black women — I guess because this has happened to us throughout history — that it’s just something we are supposed to grin and bear,” she told CBS. “You’re seen as betraying your race. You’re seen as betraying black men. But there’s no recognition that a black man has betrayed you.”
“Sexual assault should never be a racial issue. It should never be a partisan issue,” Tyson added. “Sexual assault is an epidemic that’s taking place around the world, across our country, every day.”
Fairfax was not the only Virginia Democrat to find scandal in February. The accusations against the Lt. Gov. came on the heels of revelations that Democrat Governor Ralph Northam dressed in blackface for a photo in his college yearbook. Northam also refused to resign his office.
Even as the two top officers of the state found trouble, so did the state’s third-in-succession when Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, also a Democrat, admitted he, too, had a blackface problem from his school years.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.