‘Ready, although it will be painful, to tell the Virginia Legislature what Mr. Fairfax did to her…’
(Peter Coutu, The Virginian-Pilot) Two women who have accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting them in the 2000s say they are willing to testify before Virginia lawmakers.
Fairfax, meanwhile, released a statement again saying the encounters were consensual and called for an impartial law enforcement body to investigate.
Meredith Watson, who accused Fairfax of raping her in 2000 while the two were students at Duke University, is willing to testify at an impeachment hearing and would provide two other people she told of the alleged assault the day after it occurred, attorney Nancy Erika Smith said in a statement Saturday night.
“Ms. Watson stands ready, although it will be painful, to tell the Virginia Legislature what Mr. Fairfax did to her when she was 20 years old,” Smith wrote, noting that her client may contact North Carolina authorities about possible criminal prosecution.
North Carolina has no statute of limitations on rape.
Vanessa Tyson, the other woman who has accused Fairfax of sexual assault, says she is “prepared to testify at impeachment proceedings and to cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation,” her attorneys Debra S. Katz and Lisa J. Banks said in a statement.
Tyson, a California college professor, has alleged that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him at a Boston hotel in 2004.
Fairfax has denied the allegations and said he does not intend to resign.
He called for the FBI and other authorities to investigate.
“The one thing I want to make abundantly clear is that in both situations I knew at the time, and I know today, that the interactions were consensual,” he wrote in his statement.
The accusations have threatened to end Fairfax’s time in office just a week after it looked possible he would soon rise to the governorship.
Now, many lawmakers are calling for his resignation.
Democratic Del. Patrick Hope said on Twitter that he plans to introduce articles of impeachment Monday.
©2019 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.