Justin Fairfax, Virginia lieutenant governor, accused by second woman of sexual assault

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Virginia's embattled governor, Ralph Northam, capped a week of political chaos ignited by racial scandals by vowing to stay in office on Friday, while the fellow Democrat in line to succeed him faced a second accusation of sexual assault. Fairfax called the allegation a political smear.

What does she say and he say?

Tyson explained that she chose to come forward to the public now after learning that Fairfax might become the new governor of Virginia.

Fairfax's first accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, alleges that he forced her to perform a sexual act at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

The new woman, Meredith Watson, put out a statement through an attorney. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, have called for Fairfax to step down after a second woman came forward on Friday to accuse Fairfax of sexual assault.

The statement from Watson's attorney said Fairfax used knowledge of her prior rape to plan his own attack on her in 2000. He said Saturday he heard from Tyson after their encounter and he knew Watson after their encounter, and he said neither ever "said or otherwise indicated that our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort".

Fairfax vowed to clear his "good name" and noted he has passed Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks and run for office "with nothing like this being raised before".

"I have passed two full field background checks by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and run for office in two highly contested elections with nothing like this being raised before".

Democrats had until now stopped short of calling for Mr Fairfax to quit, but the latest allegation opened the floodgates on Friday. The state party joins a long list of elected officials and Democratic presidential hopefuls who have called for Fairfax's resignation.

Regardless, the Virginia Democratic Caucus is calling upon Fairfax to resign.

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Watson's lawyer said the circumstances of the alleged assault in 2000 were similar to what Tyson had described happening four years later, but declined to provide further details. He said: 'It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do.

Meanwhile, some have come forward to corroborate the allegation of the first accuser, who is now a California college lecturer.

"The central issue at the heart of her account is consent, and there can be no better authority to decide whether it was given than Dr. Tyson herself".

Two of Prof Tyson's colleagues and several unnamed friends told the New York Times that she had relayed the incident to them in the last two years.

What about the racism scandal?

"And I believe Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax must resign".

Northam has ignored calls to resign for the past week after a racist photo surfaced from his medical school yearbook.

On Friday he sent an email to state employees signalling his continued defiance of nearly universal calls for him to quit. There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity'.

"Our Commonwealth is in uncharted waters, and many of you are undoubtedly left confused and uncertain about what the future holds". In less than a week, the Virginia Democratic Party has been decimated.

It's been a pretty bad couple of weeks for Democrats in Virginia.

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