Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is continuing to categorically deny the allegations of sexual assault against him, releasing the results of a polygraph test and offering his own telling of two separate encounters which he says he knew were "false from the first moment I heard them." The Lt. Gov. said his attorneys have now urged the launching of an investigation in two separate jurisdictions to further probe the allegations against him and vowed to cooperate in any potential questioning that may arise.
Fairfax announced that he voluntarily submitted a polygraph test with regards to the allegations made against him, which he claimed he "passed on the very first try."
Read the results here:
Fairfax faces allegations by two women including Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of political science at Scripps College in Claremont, California, who claimed in February that Fairfax sexually assaulted her at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.
In a detailed public statement, Tyson detailed the alleged assault, saying Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him. Fairfax said their interaction was consensual. Shethat she couldn't feel her neck as Fairfax forced his hands on her.
"I couldn't feel my neck. I couldn't hold my head up," Tyson said. "He's using his hand on the back of my neck. And I still didn't know what was going wrong. I thought there was something wrong with my neck… And he's pushing down and pushing down. And I couldn't hold my neck up. And I didn't know what was going on."
In a statement on Wednesday, Fairfax alleged that Tyson got the date of their first meeting wrong at the DNC in Boston in 2004. Fairfax says he was not there on July 26th as Tyson alleges in her statement and claims he was with the former presidential candidate John Edwards at the time.
"While Dr. Tyson has stated definitively that she met, interacted, and had a conversation with me in Boston on July 26, 2004, the first day of the Convention; in fact, Senator Edwards and I were not in Boston on that date. We did not arrive in Boston from North Carolina until the following day," Fairfax explained.
Fairfax did not, however, dispute the date of the alleged encounter which he still says was consensual.
"After I arrived, I met Dr. Tyson, who was a volunteer at the Convention. As young adults and students we spent time together talking. I invited her to my hotel room, where we engaged in completely consensual activity. I have heard Dr. Tyson say that I held her neck and physically forced her to engage in sexual contact. That is simply is not true. What she alleged never happened. At no time did I force any contact," he said.
Days after Tyson's initial claim, a second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to accuse Fairfax of raping her in North Carolina, while both were students at Duke University in 2000. Watson later told CBS that that she felt "guilty" for not reporting her allegation that Fairfax raped her nearly 20 years ago.
"It happened to her [Tyson] after it happened to me. And had I had the strength or the courage to say something in 2000, maybe it never would've happened to her,"
This encounter, too, Fairfax maintains was consensual.
"On one occasion late in my senior year in the year 2000, she initiated a consensual encounter with me. I did not rape or sexually assault Meredith Watson. I did not lock the door, turn out the lights, hold her down, or use any physical force whatsoever. We were both willing participants," he explained. "After that encounter, I saw her on occasion when we were with mutual friends. At no time, before, during, or after our encounter did she ever say or do anything that suggested to me in any way that she believed that she thought anything that happened between us was something she had not wanted or that she was uncomfortable with."
Fairfax asserted that "If the facts alleged by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson were true the conduct would be criminal." He said such conduct is "against everything I have stood for in both my public and private life."
The lawmaker said the pain of the "false allegations" has caused significant pain to his family. Fairfax meanwhile blasted Tyson and Watson's interviews with CBS, saying "TV appearances are not the right vehicles to get at the truth" adding that "sensationalizing allegations to do not make them true."
Earlier on Wednesday, Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert said he found Tyson and Watson's accounts "very compelling" and joined in the calls to hold a bipartisan public forum for the women to share their stories. He said, however, that Virginia House Democrats have rebuffed Republican's efforts to hold such a hearing.
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