A woman who accused Virginia's Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault made the allegations in private during the state's 2017 election while she considered whether to come forward, Fox News reported.
Citing newly revealed Facebook messages it had obtained, Fox News reported posts dating as far back as March 2017 show Meredith Watson commenting on Fairfax's candidacy and telling contacts about the alleged rape.
Fairfax has denied Watson's claims. The law firm representing her had maintained over the weekend she had "documentary evidence," Fox News reported.
According to Fox News, a message from March 19, 2017 read: "This is absolutely disgusting! This dude raped me," with a link to an article about Fairfax in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The unknown contact responded: "Was it reported?" and "Is there something that could be said," followed by a message asking if she would "even want to say something."
Watson replied she "didn't report it after how the university responded" when she reportedly complained about an earlier alleged rape by former NBA player Corey Maggette while they were students at Duke University 20 years ago.
In a statement to The New York Times, Monday, Maggette denied the allegations.
More messages also indicate Watson was torn over coming forward, Fox News reported.
"[Of] course I want to say something," she wrote to an unknown contact, who encouraged her to report the claims anonymously, Fox News reported. "He shouldn't be running for office. I just don't know what I can do.
"Nothing is anonymous anymore . . . besides, anonymous accusations carry no weight," she replied.
On Nov. 7, 2017, the messages show Watson writing to a contact about their support for Fairfax, Fox News reported.
"I see you've been promoting Justin Fairfax on FB despite knowing he raped me, which is mind-blowing to me. Are you seriously voting for him today? #METOO," she wrote, Fox News reported.
Watson first went public with her accusations against Fairfax last Friday, claiming she was raped by him in 2000 "while they were both students at Duke University," according to a statement from the firm Smith Mullin P.C.
Fairfax denied the allegations, calling them "demonstrably false."
Fairfax is also facing allegations from California college professor Vanessa Tyson, who accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in a hotel room in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Fairfax called that allegation a political smear.
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