Fairfax says he took polygraph test that exonerates him of sexual assault allegations

Lt. Governor says he passed polygraph test

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax says he took a polygraph test that exonerates him of sexual assault accusations made against him by two women.

According to a release, the polygraph was administered by retired FBI polygraph expert Jeremiah Hanafin in relation to sexual assault allegations made by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson.

Hanafin was also chosen to perform Christine Blasey Ford’s polygraph test related to her sexual assault allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

According to the release, Fairfax took two separate tests for each of the accusations. Ever since the allegations surfaced, Fairfax has maintained his innocence.

Fairfax’s attorney Barry J. Pollack told NBC over the phone that "the Lieutenant Governor has simply sent out this statement to let people know that he has taken a polygraph, and it confirms that he has been telling the truth.”

Dr. Tyson accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in his hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Watson accused Fairfax of raping her while she was a student at Duke University.

The release says the polygraph shows Fairfax was being truthful when he was asked if he engaged in non-consensual sexual activity with Dr. Tyson or Waston, and Fairfax said no.

Fairfax was also asked if Dr. Tyson was crying or showing signs of distress while in the hotel room.

“"Was Vanessa Tyson crying at any time while she was in your hotel room?” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, "no.” "The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer,” the release said.

Hanafin also asked Fairfax about the allegations made by Watson.

“Similarly, in the second polygraph examination, Lt. Governor Fairfax was asked about specific allegations made by Meredith Watson. Ms. Watson has stated that her sexual liaison with Lt. Governor Fairfax in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University was “premeditated rape.” In fact, their interaction was completely consensual. When asked during a polygraph examination, “Did Meredith Watson give you any physical or verbal indication she did not want to have sexual contact with you?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer,” the release said.

The release the statement comes before a Gayle King interview with Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson is set to air.

When asked, Pollack says that Fairfax’s polygraph test was scheduled a week in advance.

“We were able to schedule [the test] for Friday, but all of that was in the works before we learned about the interview,” he said.

A spokesperson for Dr. Tyson’s legal team says that they will not engage in a back and forth with the lieutenant governor’s defense team, and referred back to Dr. Tyson’s original statement.

They add that the state legislature should take bi-partisan action so that both parties will be able to make their case on the record.

According to the release, Fairfax’s attorney says he reiterates that he will cooperate with a law enforcement investigation.

Read the full statement from Fairfax’s representatives below:

From the moment that Dr. Vanessa Tyson and then Ms. Meredith Watson first made accusations that Lt. Governor Fairfax had committed sexual assault decades ago, Lt. Governor Fairfax has been steadfast in saying that the allegations are extraordinarily serious, deserve to be heard, and should be investigated and taken seriously. Lt. Governor Fairfax has also been steadfast from the start in saying that a serious, fair, and impartial investigation and examination of the facts would demonstrate that these allegations are false and that he engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever.

Knowing that he was telling the truth, Lt. Governor Fairfax voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination by a leading polygraph expert, Jeremiah Hanafin. Mr. Hanafin is a retired FBI polygraph expert who was previously chosen by Dr. Vanessa Tyson’s attorney, Ms. Debra Katz, to perform a polygraph examination of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford relating to Dr. Ford’s allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Mr. Hanafin did not just give Lt. Governor Fairfax one polygraph examination. He administered two different polygraph examinations to the Lt. Governor – one relating to the allegations made by Vanessa Tyson and one related to the allegations made by Meredith Watson. Lt. Governor Fairfax passed both examinations.

When asked: “Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Vanessa Tyson?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

When asked: “Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Meredith Watson?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

The polygraph examinations also demonstrated that Lt. Governor Fairfax was telling the truth when he denied specific allegations that have been made by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson.

Dr. Tyson has stated that while she was with Lt. Governor Fairfax in his hotel room at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, she was crying, in obvious distress. Yet, when asked during a polygraph examination, “Was Vanessa Tyson crying at any time while she was in your hotel room?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

Dr. Tyson has also stated that she “consciously avoided Mr. Fairfax for the remainder of the Convention and I never spoke to him again.” Yet, when asked during a polygraph examination, “After leaving Boston, did Vanessa contact you and suggest visiting you and meeting her mother?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “yes.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

Similarly, in the second polygraph examination, Lt. Governor Fairfax was asked about specific allegations made by Meredith Watson. Ms. Watson has stated that her sexual liaison with Lt. Governor Fairfax in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University was “premeditated rape.” In fact, their interaction was completely consensual. When asked during a polygraph examination, “Did Meredith Watson give you any physical or verbal indication she did not want to have sexual contact with you?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

Ms. Watson has also claimed that Corey Maggette, who was at the time a basketball player at Duke, also raped her while she was a student at Duke. Mr. Maggette has completely and categorically denied that allegation. Ms. Watson has claimed that when she saw Lt. Governor Fairfax on one occasion after she says Lt. Governor Fairfax raped her, she asked him, “Why did you do it?,” implying that Mr. Fairfax had had sex with her against her will. According to Ms. Watson, Lt. Governor Fairfax responded, “I knew that because of what happened to you last year [referencing the supposed rape committed against her by Mr. Maggette], you’d be too afraid to say anything.” In fact, no such conversation between Ms. Watson and Lt. Governor Fairfax ever occurred. When asked during a polygraph examination, “After this incident, did you have a conversation with Meredith Watson where she implied your sexual contact with her was non-consensual?,”

Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.

Jeremiah Hanafin served as an FBI agent for nearly 25 years during which he was an expert polygraph examiner in the Washington, D.C. Field Office. He performed over 2,500 polygraphs for the FBI. Mr. Hanafin for many years also conducted polygraph examinations for the Fairfax County Police Department. He was hired by Dr. Tyson’s attorney, Ms. Debra Katz, when she was representing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to administer a polygraph examination of Dr. Ford.

Jeremiah Hanafin was selected by Lt. Governor Fairfax’s attorney, Barry J. Pollack, for the same reason Mr. Hanafin was previously selected by Ms. Katz – Mr. Hanafin is unquestionably one of the country’s foremost expert polygraph examiners.

Lt. Governor Fairfax hired Mr. Pollack to help ensure that the facts surrounding the allegations that have been made by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson are determined in a fair, impartial, and unbiased manner. Mr. Pollack, a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, said, “All serious allegations deserve to be taken seriously, but not all allegations are true. The public has a right to know if serious allegations made against the Lt. Governor are true, but the public also has a right to know if they are false.” Lt. Governor Fairfax has repeatedly called for law enforcement to investigate the allegations lodged by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson. Mr. Pollack reiterated that Lt. Governor Fairfax will cooperate fully in any law enforcement investigation. “A meaningful, professional factual investigation,” Mr. Pollack said, “would exonerate the Lt. Governor and clear his well-earned good name and reputation.”

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.