Lawyers for Fairfax accuser call for investigation before General Assembly adjourns

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.((Source: NBC12))
Updated: Feb. 21, 2019 at 1:28 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Lawyers for Dr. Vanessa Tyson, the woman who accused Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, are calling on the General Assembly to conduct a public investigation into their client’s claims.

Tyson’s attorney argue it’s been two weeks since the Scripps College professor came forward with her allegations, but no action has been taken by leaders in Virginia.

“While prosecutors in Massachusetts have asked to meet with Dr. Tyson in furtherance of an investigation and Dr. Tyson will do so, the Virginia General Assembly has remained silent and has taken no action whatsoever in response to her allegations,” the statement reads.

Shortly after Tyson came forward, another woman, Meredith Watson accused Fairfax of raping her in 2000 while the two were students at Duke University.

“While lawmakers in both parties have responded with words of concern, they have utterly failed to act and have stood idly by as Lt. Governor Fairfax has impugned Dr. Tyson’s actions as being politically motivated; verbally attacked Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson; threatened to file criminal charges against Dr. Tyson if she pursues criminal charges against him…” the statement reads.

Dr. Vanessa Tyson's attorneys call on the Virginia General Assembly to conduct a public...
Dr. Vanessa Tyson's attorneys call on the Virginia General Assembly to conduct a public investigation into the allegations (Source: Tyson's attorneys)

Lt. Governor Fairfax has said multiple times he will not resign and demands a full investigation into these allegations.

“I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else,” he said in a statement.

Thursday evening House Speaker Kirk Cox addressed the statement issued by Tyson’s attorneys. Saying Democrats have refused to work with him as he’s called for the General Assembly to hold a “legislative forum” into the allegations against Fairfax.

Cox circulated copies of a statement he said Democrats drafted saying a legislative investigation was “impossible” in the few days left before session ends.

The statement says that the House would need to investigate and prosecute the case before the Senate, and there isn’t time to do that.

The document says the authors believe the best option is to take advantage of the skills law enforcement have to investigate and mentioned that the Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts has she would investigate.

“The victims have constantly asked us to do our duty, committees are set up to look into the conduct of public officials,” Cox said. “The victims are asking for this, they’ve constantly asked for this.”

“We communicated with them last week for the first time about this,” said House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn. “We approached them, wanted to work in a bi-partisan manner. They said they were going to get back to us with details, ideas and specifics about what they were talking about. They were unable to provide us with any details.”

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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