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Second woman accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault

The Associated Press
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Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax presides over the state Senate in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. California college professor Vanessa Tyson has made an allegation of sexual assault against Fairfax. He has denied the allegations, casting them as a political smear. (Steve Earley/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
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Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, gavels the session to order at the start of the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. — A second woman has come forward to accuse Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault. The woman said in a statement Friday that the attack took place when she and Fairfax were students at Duke University.

The new accusation further clouds the fate of Virginia’s government. Fairfax would take over if Gov. Ralph Northam were to resign over the racist photo that appeared on his medical school yearbook page. Northam told his top staff Friday that he would not resign. Attorney General Mark Herring, who is second in line of succession, admitted putting on blackface in college.

Earlier this week, California college professor Vanessa Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention. Fairfax called the allegation a political smear.

A senior official in Northam’s administration said the governor has told his top staff that he does not plan to resign over a racist photo despite intense pressure to step down.