Lt. Governor refutes details of sexual assault allegations, asks prosecutors to investigate

Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 10:19 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is refuting, point by point, details given by two women accusing him of sexual assault in nationally televised interviews this week. Fairfax also announced his attorney has asked prosecutors to investigate.

Republicans and Democrats remain at odds over whether to hold a public hearing into the allegations.

“I did not lock the door, turn out the lights, hold her down, or use any physical force whatsoever,” Fairfax told a group of reporters regarding one alleged attack. He says, rather, it was his accuser, Meredith Watson, who initiated a consensual sexual encounter while they were both students at Duke University in Durham, NC in 2000.

“She has alleged we later had a conversation about the encounter where I supposedly raised the fact that she had previously accused a Duke basketball player of raping her and therefore thought she would be too afraid to report another assault. No version of that conversation ever occurred,” Fairfax said.

Fairfax says the assault alleged by Vanessa Tyson at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, MA was also a consensual sexual encounter, that she was not crying during the event, and they stayed in touch afterward.

S“At one point, she left me a message asking me if she could come visit me in New York City, where I had returned to school at Columbia Law School, and even invited me to meet her mother,” Fairfax said.

Fairfax said his attorney has asked prosecutors in Boston and Durham to investigate the allegations and he released a summary of the results of two polygraph tests he’s taken.

But House Republicans, still calling for a public, bi-partisan legislative hearing on the matter, say they’re not swayed.

“Ted Bundy passed a polygraph. Serial killers routinely pass polygraphs. So there’s nothing magical about being able to defeat a polygraph,” said House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R - Shenandoah) at a press conference.

Democrats continue to argue that a legislative hearing would become a political spectacle and say they’d prefer that law enforcement investigate the allegations.

“We need to get to the truth, an investigation needs to move forward, and find the truth and that’s what I support,” Governor Ralph Northam said.

“Yet on top of our concerns that a hearing by a legislative committee would be completely unprecedented in Virginia, our Republican colleagues have demonstrated that they have no intention of making it a nonpolitical, professional and safe environment in a manner that would not impede or compromise any possible ongoing investigation,” House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D - Fairfax) said in a House floor speech.

Lawyers for Dr. Tyson renewed the General Assembly to hold a bipartisan hearing.

House Republicans also called on Governor Northam to deliver the results of an investigation that he promised to determine who is in the blackface photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

The Governor’s office did not respond to our request for comment.

The Eastern Virginia Medical School has hired the McGuire Law Firm to investigate the photo.

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