After a second woman came forward on Friday and accused Virginia's Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, rights groups and lawmakers described the allegations as credible and called on Fairfax to resign immediately.
"Lt. Governor Fairfax has also shown exceptionally poor judgment in his handling of these allegations", the congressional Democrats said.
"I have never forced myself on anyone".
Fairfax denied the allegations as "demonstrably false" and has demanded an investigation to confirm his account.
All of Virginia's Democrats in the House and Senate also called on Fairfax to step down from his post in a joint statement released by the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. "I will clear my good name and have nothing to hide".
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Fairfax said the allegation was part of a "vicious and coordinated smear campaign" orchestrated against him.
"I believe these women, and I believe it is time for the lieutenant governor to resign", he said.
Fairfax is already facing allegations that he sexually assaulted California politics professor Vanessa Tyson in his hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine called the allegations against the lieutenant governor "atrocious" and added, "he can no longer effectively serve the Commonwealth". This follows an accusation by Vanessa Tyson. Northam then used a weird news conference on Saturday to take back his admission that he was in the photo, but to admit that he had appeared in blackface at another time. Watson told multiple friends and classmates about the assault after it happened - both verbally and in Facebook messages and emails, she has revealed through her attorney.
The revelation echoed a controversy that first enmeshed the state's top Democrat, Governor Ralph Northam, last Friday.
Watson has requested that Fairfax resign.
"We respect all survivors and believe they should be fully heard", the House Democrats' statement says.
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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. "To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent", Tyson said in the statement.
"I believe Meredith Watson and Dr. Tyson, and it was extremely courageous for them to come forward", she said.
As Virginia and the rest of the nation discuss and debate racist behavior relating to some of Virginia's highest elected government officials, another state political figure is in the spotlight.
Less than a week ago Fairfax had been tipped to become the next governor of Virginia after Northam faced near universal calls to resign after it emerged that there was a racist picture on his medical school yearbook page.
Although the Democratic Party has taken nearly a zero-tolerance approach to misconduct among its members in this #MeToo era, a housecleaning in Virginia could be costly: If all three Democrats resigned, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox would become governor.
The high-end designer Gucci has apologized for selling a sweater that looks like blackface in the wake of the scandal involving Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring.
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