Lt. Gov Fairfax, Accusers Invited to Testify Before Virginia General Assembly Committee

Fairfax has denied two women's claims of sexual assault, but lost any Democrats' tentative support when the second allegation came out

What to Know

  • Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax resisted calls to resign after two women separately came forward with assault allegations.
  • Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson both have offered to testify before the General Assembly, but the session is coming to a close
  • Fairfax vehemently denies the allegations and wants the FBI to investigate, but not the General Assembly.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax and the two women who have accused him of sexual assault were invited Friday to testify before a General Assembly committee, nearly two weeks after the women offered to testify on their allegations.

Del. Robert Bell, R-Albemarle, the chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee, said his committee will schedule a meeting and invite Vanessa Tyson, Meredith Watson and Fairfax to speak.

It's unclear when that meeting will happen.

Lawyers for Tyson and Watson issued statements earlier this month saying they would be willing to testify if impeachment proceedings begin.

Both Tyson and Watson have been critical of the General Assembly for its inaction. Tyson' lawyers issued a statement Thursday calling for lawmakers to hire "experienced independent investigators'' to probe the allegations against Fairfax.

"It is unfathomable that the Virginia General Assembly appears intent on ending its current session without addressing this issue in any meaningful way,'' the statement said. "Credible allegations of sexual assault must not be ignored.''

 In January, Vanessa Tyson publicly accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. Her lawyer said last week Tyson plans to meet with prosecutors in Massachusetts to detail her allegations.

Meredith Watson also publicly accused Fairfax of sexual assault. She issued a statement accusing him of raping her 19 years ago while they were students at Duke University.

Fairfax has resisted calls for the General Assembly to investigate the claims, which he vehemently denies. He has called for the FBI to investigate.

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