Justin Fairfax assault consensual, urged the FBI to look into sexual assault.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax on Saturday urged the FBI to look into sexual assault allegations against him, insisting that the encounters with his accusers were “consensual.”
Fairfax, under fire in the midst of a tumultuous week for multiple Virginia politicos, issued a statement asking “impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI” to look into accusations that he sexually assaulted two women, one in 2000 and the other in 2004.
“This has been a devastating week for my family. It has been an especially devastating time for the great Commonwealth of Virginia,” his statement read.
The Virginia Democrat doubled-down on his claims of innocence, saying that interactions in question were unforced.
“I say this again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else,” his latest statement asserted. “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.”
The allegations against Fairfax come as both the governor and the state attorney general are contending with scandals of their own. As with Fairfax, there have been emphatic calls for their resignations, including from leading figures in their own party.
Gov. Ralph Northam came under fire after a picture emerged from his 1984 medical school yearbook, showing two men in blackface and a Ku Klux Klan costume. Northam initially said it was him in the picture, and apologized. But last Saturday he said it actually not a photo of him. In an interview published Saturday by The Washington Post, he said he wants to heal the pain that emerged after the photo surfaced and focus on an agenda of racial equity and reconciliation.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mark Herring has admitted to wearing blackface at a party in the 1980s.
As for Fairfax, the week has brought bombshells of a different sort.
Tyson, a California college professor and the first woman to accuse Fairfax, claimed that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention. He called the allegation a political smear.
On Friday night, Watson alleged that she was raped by Fairfax in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University. He called the allegation “demonstrably false.”
Said the lieutenant governor’s statement: “As an officer of the court and a former federal prosecutor, I have dedicated my life to the law and due process. Consequently, I call on all appropriate and impartial investigatory authorities, including the FBI to investigate fully and thoroughly the allegations against me by Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson.”
Fairfax went on to say that spoke to both Tyson and Watson after their “interactions” and that neither woman indicated to him that “our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort.”
“What I have just expressed is the truth,” he said. “I believe and trust that due process will provide the fairness, justice and honesty that is necessary.”