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

10 February 2019

Nor has the scandal left Virginia Republicans unscathed.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said earlier this week that he wore brown makeup to a college party in 1980 because he wanted to look like rappers he listened to, specifically mentioning Kurtis Blow.

Gov. Ralph Northam was in attendance at Saturday's funeral for a state trooper killed in a shootout.

At the same time, Governor Ralph Northam made his first public appearance since refusing to resign.

"It has been a painful week for all Virginians, and I am deeply sorry for causing this distraction from your important work", he said.

Looking ahead, Northam said he has asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to healthcare, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting suggestions this week. The photo, which was first published in January by Big League Politics, appears in the governor's senior yearbook and shows two people: one dressed in blackface, and another clad in Ku Klux Klan robes. Northam initially apologized for being in the photo... only to then deny being in the photo the next day. It has been an especially devastating time for the great Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ralph Northam, during a campaign stop at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in 2017, is facing calls to resign after a picture showing him in blackface or a KKK outfit emerged on February 1, 2019.

The service in the town of Chilhowie for Lucas B. Dowell was four hours west of the political tumult in Richmond.

Lt. -Gov. Justin Fairfax, the state's second-highest elected official, faces the prospect of impeachment proceedings at the hands of another Democrat next week after two women separately accused him of sexual crimes, including rape. Fairfax has maintained the allegations against him are not true.

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. While she is not calling for any criminal or civil action to be taken against Fairfax, she says he should step down. Our American values don't just work when it's convenient - they must be applied at the most hard of times. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen.

Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax denies second accusation of sexual assault
Democratic Senators Call on Justin Fairfax to Resign After Second Sexual Assault Allegation

Fairfax has forcefully denied both allegations and refused to resign, saying he has "never assaulted anyone".

On Friday, the University announced it was asking Fairfax to step down from the Sanford School of Public Policy's Board of Visitors pending the resolution of the allegations.

A Democratic member of the state House, Del.

One state House member, Democrat Patrick Hope, said on Twitter that he planned to introduce articles of impeachment for Fairfax on Monday unless he resigned before then. Several administrators had the title of dean during at least part of that year.

"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".

The new woman, Meredith Watson, put out a statement through an attorney.

"I urge everyone to take survivors of sexual assault seriously, and to help build an environment that is safe and supportive for everyone".

If Fairfax were to leave, it's unclear who could replace him. Northam may try to appoint a Democrat, while Republicans could mount a legal challenge with the goal of having Sen. Steve Newman, the Senate's pro tem, serve as both a voting senator and temporary lieutenant governor. The governor's own troubles began when a racist image from his medical school yearbook went public on February 1.

Just how far Virginia Democrats go to confront these three statewide officials - who swept into office in 2017 on the first wave of backlash to President Trump's election - will send a signal about how committed they are to taking a hard line on racial and sexual transgressions, and will echo well beyond this state's borders.

Democrats are also despondent about what the scandals have done to their chances of flipping control of the General Assembly.

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