Fairfax Staffers Resign Following Second Accusation Of Sexual Assault

Two of Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's staffers and two employees of his political action committee have resigned following a Friday report of a second sexual assault allegation against the embattled politician, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch

The PAC employees who left are Dave Mills, who was the executive director of We Rise Together, and Courtney McCargo, a fundraiser for the PAC.

Mills is the husband of state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, who is considered a strong contender to replace Fairfax as lieutenant governor should Fairfax resign.

On the government side, Adele McClure, the policy director, resigned, as did Julia Billingsly, the scheduling director. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

Still standing by Fairfax - so far, are communications director Lauren Burke who is employed by his PAC, and his chief of staff Larry Roberts, who remains a state employee. 

According to the Times-Dispatch, the job of lieutenant governor is part time - while law firm Morrison & Foerster has placed Fairfax on paid leave. 

As we reported last week, Meredith Watson, a friend of Fairfax's at Duke University when they were both undergraduates, alleges that Fairfax raped her in a "premeditated and aggressive" assault in 2000. 

Watson is the second woman to come forward alleging Fairfax sexually assaulted her

Speaking through an attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, Watson said that she shared her claim immediately after it happened with several classmates who have provided statements, while her lawyer added that Wilson shared her account with friends in several Facebook messages and emails. 

Smith said the details of Watson’s attack are similar to those described by Tyson.

Kaneedreck Adams, 40, an attorney who attended Duke with Watson and said in the spring of 2000, when they lived across from each other in on-campus apartments, Watson came to her crying.

“She was upset,” Adams said. “She told me she had been raped and she named Justin.” -WaPo

Watson's statement is as follows: 

We serve as counsel for Meredith Watson, who was raped by Justin Fairfax in 2000, while they were both students at Duke University. Mr. Fairfax’s attack was premeditated and aggressive. The two were friends but never dated or had any romantic relationship.

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.

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.

At this time, Ms. Watson is reluctantly coming forward out of a strong sense of civic duty and her belief that those seeking or serving in public office should be of the highest character. She has no interest in becoming a media personality or reliving the trauma that has greatly affected her life. Similarly, she is not seeking any financial damages.

On behalf of our client, we have notified Justin Fairfax through his attorneys that Ms. Watson hopes he will resign from public office.

According to Lauren Burke, "we’re calling for an investigation on all of these matters," adding that Fairfax would respond at a later time.