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Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax faces second sexual assault allegation

Posted: 3:04 PM, Feb 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-08 23:04:11Z

A second woman has come forward to say that she was raped by Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax when they attended Duke University in 2000.

Meredith Watson alleged that Fairfax's assault on her was "premeditated and aggressive" and that the two were friends but not romantically involved, according to a statement from her legal counsel, the firm Smith Mullen.

"Ms. Watson shared her account of the rape with friends in a series of emails and Facebook messages that are now in our possession. Additionally, we have statements from former classmates corroborating that Ms. Watson immediately told friends that Mr. Fairfax had raped her," the statement reads.

"Ms. Watson was upset to learn that Mr. Fairfax raped at least one other woman after he attacked her. The details of Ms. Watson's attack are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson." Fairfax has previously denied Tyson's allegation.

Watson is not seeking financial damages and has alerted Fairfax through her legal team that she would like him to resign, the statement adds.

Fairfax swiftly denied the allegation and called for an investigation into the accusations.

"I deny this latest unsubstantiated allegation. It is demonstrably false. I have never forced myself on anyone ever," he wrote in a statement. "I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations. Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth. I will clear my good name and I have nothing to hide."

The lieutenant governor cited his prior FBI background checks and campaigns as yielding no such history, and stressed that he would not resign.

"I have passed two full field background checks by the FBI and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before," he wrote. "It is obvious that a vicious and coordinated smear campaign is being orchestrated against me. I will not resign."

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called for Fairfax to resign soon after Watson's allegations surfaced.

"The allegations against Justin Fairfax are serious and credible," McAuliffe tweeted. "It is clear to me that he can no longer effectively serve the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor. I call for his immediate resignation."

CNN has reached out to the law firm representing Watson as well as Fairfax's office.