Accuser of Lt. Gov. willing to testify to Virginia lawmakers

Justin Fairfax/Twitter (MGN)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys for a woman who has accused Virginia's embattled lieutenant governor of sexual assault say their client is "prepared to testify at impeachment proceedings and to cooperate with law enforcement in any investigation."

Attorneys Debra S. Katz and Lisa J. Banks released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Vanessa Tyson, a California college professor, who said Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him at a Boston hotel in 2004.

A second woman, Meredith Watson, has accused Fairfax of rape in 2000. An attorney for Watson says her client also is willing to testify in front of the state legislature if an impeachment hearing takes place.

Fairfax has denied the allegations, said he does not intend to immediately resign and called for the FBI and other authorities to investigate.

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9:45 p.m.

The attorney for a woman who accuses Virginia's lieutenant governor of rape in 2000 says her client is willing to testify in front of the state legislature if an impeachment hearing takes place.

Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Saturday night on behalf of Meredith Watson after Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax denied the allegation and called for the FBI and other authorities to investigate.

Fairfax says the encounter was consensual. The two were students at Duke University at the time.

Smith says Watson will provide investigators at least two witnesses who she told about the alleged assault the day after it occurred.

Fairfax has faced numerous resignation calls since Watson levied her allegation Friday.

A California professor earlier accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. Fairfax has denied wrongdoing.

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6:35 p.m.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is reaffirming his decision to not resign after two women came forward with accusations of sexual assault.

Fairfax issued a statement Saturday again denying the allegations and saying his encounters with the women were consensual. He made clear he is not immediately resigning and called for "space in this moment for due process."

He's also calling for authorities, including the FBI, to investigate.

Many elected officials and presidential hopefuls have called for Fairfax to resign after two women went public with allegations of sexual assault this week.

Until a week ago, Fairfax was a fast-rising star in the Democratic Party and is only the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.

The calls for Fairfax to resign come as Virginia's Democratic governor and attorney general are embroiled in scandals involving the past use of blackface.



 
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