Staffers of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax resign in aftermath of second sexual assault allegation

Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 11, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's three staffers and two employees of his political action committee have resigned following a second sexual assault allegation levied against him Friday, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.

Staffers Adele McClure, Fairfax's policy director, and Julia Billingsly, scheduling director have resigned as well as PAC employees Dave Mills and Courtney McCargo.

Fairfax's chief of staff Larry Roberts, who remains in his position, has confirmed the resignations. Communications director Lauren Burke also remains in position.

Fairfax Chief of Staff Larry Roberts tells Melissa Hipolit "each departed for their own reason.  It was not a resignation en masse."

The resignations follow a second sexual assault allegation by a woman who claims she was raped by Fairfax while they attended Duke University in 2000.

A previous allegation was made public Monday by a woman claiming she was assaulted by Fairfax in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention.

Fairfax, on Saturday, vowed not to resign and called on the FBI to investigate the women's claims against him.

The 39-year-old called the "interactions" he had with both women "consensual."

"I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else," Fairfax said in the statement.

But, Richmond defense attorney Ali Amirshahi, not affiliated with anyone involved, said it's unlikely the nation's highest law enforcement agency would get involved.

"I don’t know if the FBI has jurisdiction in a case like this," Amirshahi said. "Sexual assault or rape is not a crime in the U.S. code - that’s left to local localities to handle."

Amirshahi stated the Federal Bureau of Investigations would only have jurisdiction in a case if the alleged incident occurred on federal property.

Dr. Vanessa Tyson in a statement saidthat at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Fairfax "put his hand behind my neck and forcefully pushed my head towards his crotch," and said that he "forced his penis into my mouth."

On Friday, a second woman, Meredith Watson, alleged that Fairfax raped her in a "premeditated and aggressive" incident that she said took place when they both attended Duke University in 2000.

Dr. Bob Holsworth told CBS 6 it's likely Fairfax remains in office.

"We have to remember it was just a week ago that most people simply assumed that Ralph Northam was going to resign and Justin Fairfax will become the governor," Holsworth explained. "Now we see him fighting for not only his political life, but really for his own personal life, his career and his integrity."

He added, "[Fairfax] probably believes if he resigns it’ll be an admission of guilt."

This is a developing story.



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