Virginia Lt. Gov Should Resign If Rape Allegations Are True, Says Governor

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CREDIT Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

"It's been a horrific week for Virginia". On top of Gov. Northam's problems, Virginia's Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has sexual assault allegations which has garnered calls for his own resignation and the Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to blackface as well.

This comes days after Dr. Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of sexual assault at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where they both worked.

Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately condemned him. The photo shows two individuals, one wearing blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Of Herring, he said that "just like me, he has grown".

"I am writing to let you know that Justin Fairfax will be asked to step down from the Sanford School Board of Visitors pending the resolution of the serious and deeply distressing allegations that have been made against him", wrote Judith Kelley, dean of the Sanford School, in an email to the Sanford community Friday night. He said that an "independent investigation" being conducted by Eastern Virginia Medical School is aimed at clearing up the facts around it.

"He has been a very articulate champion of some of the issues", the 25-year-old black woman said, citing work fighting for Muslim migrants hit by Trump's travel ban.

In a former hub of the American slave trade and the capital of the Confederacy, the political crisis has sparked deeper debate about the treatment of women and how to reckon with Virginia's long, racist past.

"There are ongoing inequities to access to things like education, healthcare, mortgages, capital, entrepreneurship".

Virginia fought against interracial marriages until the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down state laws banning interracial marriage. "And so we're ready to learn from our mistakes".

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office.

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Before leaving for the service in Chilhowie, a small town in the state's rural southwest corner, Northam doubled down on his determination to stay in office, pledging to promote racial reconciliation in the remaining three years of his term. He said he has reflected on his own origins and tried to confront his lack of understanding.

Ralph Northam, who is facing widespread calls to resign in the wake his recent blackface scandal, drew even more ire on social media Sunday for referring to the first Africans brought to his state as "indentured servants".

I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else.

Northam, who is starting to appear publicly again after spending almost a week in seclusion, addressed the scandals facing his fellow elected officials.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R, also acknowledged he was an editor of a 1968 yearbook that featured racial slurs and photos of students in blackface, but said he was not responsible for the content.

He added: 'I overreacted.

Both politicians said they did not understand the ramifications of their actions at the time.

Twitter, however, wasn't impressed by Northam's progress so far. "So, our school looks at it that way, and we'll do whatever we can to make sure that we answer whatever questions are posed to us". He also repeated his contention that he is not the one pictured on his yearbook page in blackface.

"Right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal".

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