Justin Fairfax's Second Accuser Reaffirms Offer to Testify in Public

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Image: Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax arrives in the Senate chamber at the Virginia State Capitol, February 7, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia. Virginia state politics are in a state of upheaval, with Governor Ralph Northam and State Attorney General Mark Herring both admitting to past uses of blackface and Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax accused of sexual misconduct. ((Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images))

Meredith Watson, the second woman to accuse Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, penned an op-ed for the Washington Post, which the paper released Monday.


In it, she repeated her offer to testify publicly in front of state lawmakers.

Late last month, Watson alleged Fairfax raped her while they were both students at Duke University. Fairfax has denied both sets of allegations of assault.

In her op-ed, Watson points out the failure of the Virginia General Assembly to allow her the chance to testify. “Despite the professed belief of numerous elected officials in Virginia and elsewhere that Vanessa Tyson, who says that Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004, and I have brought forward credible allegations,” Watson wrote, “the Virginia General Assembly has not taken the simple and responsible step of arranging the thorough public hearing that we have sought.”

Watson continued:

I am frustrated by calls for an investigation rather than a public hearing into these matters. Such “investigations” are secret proceedings, out of the public eye, leaving victims vulnerable to selective leaks and smears. And we all know how such investigations end: with “inconclusive results.” My privacy has already been violated, yet I am still willing to testify publicly under oath. Tyson has made the same offer. Our plea to the Virginia General Assembly to require the same of Fairfax has been met with inaction.

Watson, who alleges that she was also raped by former Duke and NBA player Corey Maggette during her time at the university, claims she told Fairfax of the assault before he eventually raped her. When confronted, Watson says Fairfax told her he did so because he “knew that because of what happened to you last year, you’d be too afraid to say anything.’”

A district attorney in Massachusetts said she may investigate Tyson’s allegations against Fairfax, which stem from an alleged assault in 2004.



I’m not sure if a public hearing without an investigation will resolve the issue or add more drama. She should press charges so that it is on the record and in case the police can find evidence she may be unaware of to bolster her claim.

Judging by Dr. Hill and Dr. Ford’s hearings lawmakers are not equipped to render justice. VA’s Assembly meets for 30 days on an odd year (60 days on an even year). This year it ends on March 10th. The mechanism to trigger an open hearing would be impeachment which members are unwilling to do now that there is an investigation underway by Suffolk County.

I hope her legal team is in contact with Dr. Tyson’s team. We need complete transparency.