Fairfax asks prosecutors in Boston and North Carolina to investigate allegations against him

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D) said he’s asked prosecutors in Boston and North Carolina to investigate two women’s allegations of sexual assault against him. 

Fairfax denied any wrongdoing at a news conference Wednesday, maintaining that his interactions with the women were consensual, according to The Associated Press. He added that his lawyer has been in touch with prosecutors in Boston and Durham, N.C., where the alleged assaults occurred, and said he would cooperate with any subsequent investigation.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I knew that the allegations against me were false from the moment I first heard them,” he said.

Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson both came forward with their accusations in February, with Tyson saying Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex while they were in Boston for the 2014 Democratic National Convention and Watson saying Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were students at Duke University.

Both women have expressed openness to testifying publicly in Richmond about their experiences. Virginia Republicans have signaled they are open to holding a public hearing, while state Democrats said the claims should be investigated by law enforcement.

Fairfax also on Wednesday released a polygraph test that he says indicates he is telling the truth about the allegations and expressed confidence any law enforcement investigation would vindicate him.

Despite Fairfax’s denial of any wrongdoing, he faced an avalanche of bipartisan calls for his resignation in February from politicians in Washington and Richmond, including from many historical allies in the Statehouse.

The scandal was part of a wider upending of Virginia politics after both Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and state Attorney General Mark Herring (D) were confronted with blackface scandals from the 1980s. All three have clung to power ahead of state elections in November that could decide the majority in the General Assembly.