Virginia lieutenant governor responds to assault accusations
by Harvest Prude
Posted 2/05/19, 01:04 pm
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Monday denied an accusation of sexual assault that emerged over the weekend. The Democratic politician is accused of assaulting a woman in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention in Boston while working for vice presidential candidate John Edwards. The accusations were first reported on Sunday by Big League Politics, which is also the outlet that published the photo of two men dressed in racist costumes from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook. Northam, who denies he is one of the men in the photo, is under pressure to resign, which would make Fairfax governor. Fairfax has charged that the timing of the accusation was politically motivated. If both men resigned, the governorship would go to state Attorney General Mark Herring, also a Democrat. But if Fairfax either resigns or is promoted to governor, a special election for lieutenant governor could give Republicans a chance to gain the office, Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics told WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Va.
The woman accusing Fairfax of assault contacted The Washington Post last year, but the paper declined to publish a story about the accusation, saying it “found no similar complaints of sexual misconduct against him” and could not corroborate the account. Fairfax, who is Catholic and married his wife, Cerina, in 2006, said the 2004 sexual encounter was consensual.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.