RICHMOND, Va. – A second woman has surfaced, accusing Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of "premeditated and aggressive" rape.
The woman, Meredith Watson, says the alleged assault happened while they were both undergraduate students at Duke University. Watson says she was friends with Fairfax at Duke but they never had any romantic relationship, according to her lawyer.
According to her lawyer, Watson wants Fairfax to resign.
Watson released a statement through her lawyers, which Fairfax responded to by saying that Watson's claim is "unsubstantiated," "demonstrably wrong" and part of a "vicious and coordinated smear campaign."
Watson's lawyers fired back after Fairfax's statement was released, saying he went with the "typical 'she's nuts' defense."
Below is the full statement from Watson's lawyers in response to Fairfax's most recent statement:
"We have heard from numerous press sources that in response to Meredith Watson revealing that Justin Fairfax raped her when she was a student at Duke, Mr. Fairfax has chosen to attack his victim again, now smearing her with the typical “she’s nuts” defense.
He revealed that Ms. Watson was the victim of a prior rape. That is true. Ms. Watson was raped by a basketball player during her sophomore year at Duke. She went to the Dean, who provided no help and discouraged her from pursuing the claim further.
Ms. Watson also told friends, including Justin Fairfax. Mr. Fairfax then used this prior assault against Ms. Watson, as he explained to her during the only encounter she had with him after the rape.
She left a campus party when he arrived, and he followed her out. She turned and asked: “Why did you do it?” Mr. Fairfax answered: “I knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything.”
Mr. Fairfax actually used the prior rape of his “friend” against her when he chose to rape her in a premeditated way. Like he is smearing Dr. Vanessa Tyson, Mr. Fairfax is now smearing Ms. Watson.
That’s shameful. The smears on victims of sexual assault have to stop. Why would any woman come forward with information about a powerful man knowing that he and his supporters will stop at nothing to smear and discredit them? Women come forward to support one another and to stop the culture of rape that is even more pervasive than we acknowledge."