RICHMOND, Va. —
Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax released a new statement on Saturday calling for a full investigation of claims that he sexually assaulted two women.
“I say again without reservation: I did not sexually assault or rape Meredith Watson, Vanessa Tyson or anyone else,” Fairfax said. “Our American values don’t just work when it’s convenient -- they must be applied at the most difficult of times.
The statement comes after Fairfax’s second accuser, Meredith Watson’s lawyers sent a letter detailing the allegations to Virginia state lawmakers. In the letter, Watson accused Fairfax of raping her at Duke University in 2000.
Just days before Watson came forward, Stanford University fellow Dr. Vanessa Tyson publicly detailed allegations of sexual assault against Fairfax earlier in the week. Dr. Tyson released a statement accusing Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Now Fairfax is asking for his 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 said.
Fairfax also claims both interactions with the women were consensual. “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.”
Fairfax said he spoke to both women following the alleged encounters and said neither of them expressed feelings of discomfort about the interactions. “I heard from Dr. Tyson after the 2004 Convention, and she never said or otherwise indicated that our interaction was not consensual or caused her any discomfort,” he said.
Fairfax said the same of Meredith Watson after their encounter.
“What I have just expressed is the truth, I want to stand here in that truth and restate my truth, as well as the truth of Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson, should be fully investigated and thoroughly assessed,” Fairfax said.
Fairfax repeated his request for due process and asked the public not to rush to judgment. However, several state officials have already called for Fairfax to resign due to the allegations. Fairfax has yet to indicate plans to step down.
Late Saturday, Watson's attorney Nancy Erika Smith released a statement saying that Watson is willing to testify at a future impeachment hearing for Fairfax when the time comes.
"Justin Fairfax’s latest statement re-victimizes Ms. Watson and Dr. Tyson. He claims that two women, who never spoke or met each other, but who describe very similar sexual assaults, are lying," the statement read.
Smith said "Fairfax, now, for the first time admits sexual contact with Ms. Watson, but now claims that it was 'consensual.' There was nothing consensual about the rape of Ms. Watson and the only post rape interaction between them consisted of Ms. Watson confronting Mr. Fairfax about the assault. "
According the Smith, Watson's legal team has at least two witnesses who Watson told the story of the alleged assault the day after it happened. Watson's team also said they have evidence of Watson telling others that Fairfax raped her.
The statement continues on with Smith refuting Fairfax's claim to get the FBI involved "Mr. Fairfax claims to want due process, saying he seeks an FBI investigation. But he knows as a former Prosecutor, that the FBI has no jurisdiction over this matter. Indeed, my client may contact North Carolina authorities about a possible criminal prosecution."
Watson's team ended the letter by inviting Fairfax to join Watson and witnesses at an impeachment hearing.