Accuser of Lt. Gov. willing to testify to Virginia lawmakers

Pastor Lacette Cross speaks during a protest calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign on Monday
Shelby Lum

Pastor Lacette Cross speaks during a protest calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign on Monday Credit Shelby Lum

Northam initially apologized for being in the photo... only to then deny being in the photo the next day.

Northam told CBS it must have taken tremendous courage for the women to come forward, and that he supported Fairfax's call for an investigation.

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax meanwhile has been denying claims of sexual assault and rape.

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.

Released on Saturday, the Washington Post-Schar School poll showed that Virginians overall are evenly split on whether Northam should resign in the wake of a scandalous photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook emerging.

Later on Friday, the governor issued a statement to government employees saying, "You have placed your trust in me to lead Virginia forward-and I plan to do that".

Fairfax has said that encounters with both women were consensual.

Ms. Watson also is considering involving police in North Carolina, where the alleged attack took place in 2000 and where there is no statute of limitations for any felony crimes, including rape and sexual assault.

Watson's representatives declined to provide further documentation and said their client would not be talking to journalists. Fairfax has denied the allegations and called for an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe to determine the facts.

But Fairfax, 39, is adamant that he will not resign, declaring that he is the victim of a smear campaign.

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Many Democrats who had carefully withheld judgment after the first accusation against Fairfax, saying the matter needed to be investigated, immediately condemned him.

Booting Mr. Fairfax from office, however, would give Democrats a way out. Booker cited "multiple detailed allegations" that he found "deeply troubling".

Several of the state's top Democrats, including U.S. Sen. "And these accusations are very, very serious", he said.

"Sexual assault is never acceptable", his statement said.

Democratic Del. Patrick Hope said he wants to introduce articles of impeachment against Fairfax on Monday, but Hope is not a powerful figure in the House and there's little sign there's a broad appetite for impeachment with lawmakers set to finish this year's legislative session by the end of the month. Steve Newman, the Senate's pro tem, serve as both a voting senator and temporary lieutenant governor.

Northam told the Washington Post he's asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to health care, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting those suggestions on Monday.

He's denied being in the photo but has admitted to wearing blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume that same year. "There are still some very deep wounds in Virginia, and especially in the area of equity", he said.

The possibility of all three top-ranked leaders of Virginia's executive branch having to resign raised the prospect of Democrats losing the governorship to the Republican Speaker of the state House of Delegates, who is next in the line of succession.

Trump tweeted on Sunday about "the double standard" in Virginia, where white officials who've admitted to wearing blackface now stand in judgment over the state's highest ranking African American.

"It's obvious from what happened this week that we still have a lot of work to do", Northam said.

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