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Justin Fairfax accuser Vanessa Tyson: "In my ideal world, I'd want him to resign"

Justin Fairfax accuser Vanessa Tyson speaks out
Justin Fairfax accuser Vanessa Tyson speaks out 03:01

Vanessa Tyson, one of the two women accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, says that she wants to testify before the Virginia Assembly — and she still wants Fairfax to resign.

"In my ideal world, I'd want him to resign." Tyson told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King in her first TV interview to air Monday. She alleges that Fairfax assaulted her while they were both working at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. She came forward with her allegations in early February, and is in contact with the Suffolk County District Attorney in Boston to her explore options.

Tyson, an associate professor of political science at Scripps College in Claremont, California, said that she came forward in part so that her students interested in politics would not have similar experiences.

"I don't want this to ever, ever, ever happen to them," Tyson said. Her second reason for coming forward, she said, was because "the Virginia people need to know who they elected."

Tyson said that she wanted a public hearing in the Virginia Assembly, not an investigation by the legislature, because investigations may allow people in power to cover up information.

"I would want Meredith, myself, and Mr. Fairfax to be able to speak. To be heard," Tyson said, referring to Fairfax's other accuser, Meredith Watson. "And particularly for survivors, I think this is incredibly important...we need to be treated as the human beings that we are."

Watson accused Fairfax of raping her in 2000 when they were both studying at Duke University. She came forward shortly after Tyson went public with her allegations. Fairfax has denied both accusations, and has claimed that he is the victim of a "vicious and coordinated smear campaign." Fairfax has also compared himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims.

In a statement to CBS News Sunday, Fairfax's spokesperson cited two polygraph tests that showed the lieutenant governor engaged in "no wrongdoing whatsoever." She said the tests were conducted by Jeremiah Hanafin, who also administered a test to Christine Blasey Ford when she made allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The spokesperson said the tests found Fairfax provided "truthful answers" when he denied having "non-consensual sexual activity" with either Tyson or Watson. 

CBS News could not independently verify the results of the polygraph tests Burke said Fairfax participated in.

Several prominent Democrats have called on Fairfax to resign, including Sen. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe. However, the situation is complicated by another scandal involving current Gov. Ralph Northam. A racist photo on Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced in early February, depicting one person wearing black face and another in a Ku Klux Klan costume.

Northam has resisted calls to resign. If he did so, Fairfax would become governor. If both Northam and Fairfax resigned, Attorney General Mark Herring — who has been involved in a blackface scandal of his own — would ascend to the governorship. Meanwhile, Democrats in the Virginia Assembly have called on Fairfax to resign, but have backed down on any threats of impeachment.

Although the national news cycle has largely moved away from discussing Virginia's leadership crisis, Tyson remains determined to speak out.

"The voters of Virginia, have a right to know both my story and Meredith's story," Tyson told King.

The full interview with Tyson will air on "CBS This Morning" on Monday, and the full interview with Watson will air on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday.

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