Stanford fellow accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. of sexual assault

Virginia Gov.-elect Lt. Gov Ralph Northam center walks down the reviewing stand with Lt. Gov-elect Justin Fairfax right and Attorney General Mark Herring as they participate in a walk through for their Saturday Inauguration at the Capitol in Richmo

Then Big League Politics ran a story citing a private Facebook post from a woman who accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in 2004.

The origins of blackface date to 19th-century "minstrel" shows in which white performers covered their faces in black grease paint to caricature slaves. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has been accused of sexual assault, which he has denied.

Vanessa Tyson, a Stanford University fellow and associate professor at Scripps College in California, released a detailed letter through her lawyers Wednesday in which she said she reluctantly went public to dispute what she called Fairfax's "smear campaign" against her.

Should all three resign or be forced out by party higher-ups, governorship would be passed to Kirk Cox, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates - and a Republican.

The political crisis in Virginia intensified Thursday as several leading Democratic presidential candidates called for an investigation into a woman's sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin E. Fairfax, a Democrat, saying they thought her account was credible.

The scandal embroiled its first Republican on Thursday, when the Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that state Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was an editor of a 1968 yearbook from the Virginia Military Institute dotted with racist images and slurs.

Almost the entire Virginia Democratic establishment, as well as almost every Democratic presidential hopeful, called on him to resign.

If Fairfax resigns or declines to accept the governor's job while he deals with his own scandal, the next person in the line of succession would be Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, accompanied by his wife Pamela Northam announces he will not resign during a news conference Richmond, Virginia, U.S. February 2, 2019. "And in my remarks on Monday, I think you could hear how emotional dealing with an allegation that I know is not true has been for me".

Tyson's allegation finally emerged over the weekend amid calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to step down over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook - which would put Fairfax in the top job.

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She received her Bachelor of Science from MIT and went on to receive her Masters in public health at the University of California. Ubolratana is known for her "To Be Number One" anti-drugs programme as well as starring in several soap operas and movies.

Northam initially apologized and acknowledged that he was one of the people shown in the yearbook photo.

Within the last six days, Virginia's Democratic leadership has begun collapsing on itself after three of its high-level members were caught up in scandal after scandal.

"I know that this is a hard issue".

Buoyed by a backlash against Republican President Donald Trump, particularly in suburban areas, Democrats have made huge gains in Virginia in the last two years.

Northamhas, however, publicly admitted to wearing blackface when he once tried to imitate Michael Jackson.

After calling for Northam's ouster, Attorney-General Herring, 57, apologised on Wednesday for having worn blackface to impersonate a rapper at a 1980 college party.

Then, under pressure from almost the entire state and national Democratic establishment to resign, he denied he was in the photo at all.

Herring described his actions as a "minimisation" of people of colour, and of America's fraught racial history, which he says he was well aware of at the time.

At the start of the week, Cox said there was little appetite among lawmakers to remove Northam through impeachment, saying resignation "would obviously be less pain for everyone".

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