Justin Fairfax accuser Meredith Watson calls the lieutenant governor a "predator"

Fairfax accuser calls for public hearing

Two women who accuse Virginia's lieutenant governor of sexual assault are calling for a public hearing. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson gave their first television interviews to "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.

Tyson said she met Justin Fairfax at the Democratic convention in Boston in 2004 when he was a law student. She said he asked her to accompany him to his hotel room.

"He just needed to pick up some paperwork is what he said," she said.

"What happens," King asked.

"He kisses me," Tyson said.

"And you're OK with the kissing," King asked.

"Yeah, I'm OK with kissing," Tyson said.

But suddenly, she said, he became violent, forcing her to perform oral sex.

"He's using his hand on the back of my neck. I couldn't say anything cause I'm choking and gagging," she said.

Justin Fairfax accuser Vanessa Tyson describes alleged sex assault: "I couldn't feel my neck"

Tyson said she went public in February only after a racist photo was found on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. She feared that if Northam resigned, Fairfax would automatically become governor.

"The voters of Virginia have a right to know," Tyson said.

She is demanding a public hearing, and so is Meredith Watson, who claims Fairfax raped her 19 years ago when they were students at Duke University.

"Had I had the strength or courage to say something in 2000, maybe it never would have happened to her," Watson said.

Fairfax has vehemently denied both accusers' allegations and has called for a law enforcement investigation. But Watson fears that would allow the issue to be swept under the rug.

"You have someone in a position of leadership who has the ability to affect legislation on how these issues will be handled. And he, himself, is a predator," Watson said.

In a statement, Lt. Gov. Fairfax said, "I feel so strongly regarding my innocence that I submitted myself to polygraph tests for each of the accusations against me. I passed those tests. I did not assault either of my accusers."

There's no word as to whether the Virginia legislature will hold a public hearing.


Watch the rest of Gayle King's interview with Watson on "CBS This Morning," Tuesday, April 2, 2019, between 7 and 9 a.m. ET.

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    Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.