Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Maintains His Innocence Against Sexual Assault Claims, Offers Result of a Polygraph Test

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (L) arrives on the Senate floor at the Virginia State Capitol, February 8, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (L) arrives on the Senate floor at the Virginia State Capitol, February 8, 2019 in Richmond, Virginia.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is maintaining his innocence against allegations that he sexually assaulted two women, both of whom recently gave interviews detailing their claims of what took place.


According to CBS News, Fairfax offered the results of a polygraph test to prove his claims that the events were consensual, adding during a press conference that he knew the accusations were “false from the first moment I heard them.”

The lieutenant governor said that his attorneys are pushing for an investigation into the allegations, and he also vowed to work with authorities to answer any questions they have regarding the matter.

Earlier this year, two women claimed that they were sexually assaulted by Fairfax. Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of political science at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., claimed in February that Fairfax assaulted her at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004, CBS News reports. Tyson claimed that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex.

“I couldn’t feel my neck. I couldn’t hold my head up,” Tyson CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King on Monday. “He’s using his hand on the back of my neck. And I still didn’t know what was going wrong. I thought there was something wrong with my neck… And he’s pushing down and pushing down. And I couldn’t hold my neck up. And I didn’t know what was going on.”

Fairfax has not only refuted the claims but added that Tyson’s timeline is incorrect.

“While Dr. Tyson has stated definitively that she met, interacted, and had a conversation with me in Boston on July 26, 2004, the first day of the convention; in fact, Senator Edwards and I were not in Boston on that date. We did not arrive in Boston from North Carolina until the following day,” Fairfax said in a statement viewed by CBS News.


Fairfax is not disputing the encounter but claims that it was consensual.

“After I arrived, I met Dr. Tyson, who was a volunteer at the Convention. As young adults and students we spent time together talking. I invited her to my hotel room, where we engaged in completely consensual activity. I have heard Dr. Tyson say that I held her neck and physically forced her to engage in sexual contact. That is simply is not true. What she alleged never happened. At no time did I force any contact,” he said.


Days after Tyson’s claim, a second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to accuse Fairfax of raping here while both were attending Duke University in 2000. She claimed that Fairfax knew that she’d been sexually assaulted by a Duke basketball player and used that against her during the alleged attack. Watson told CBS that she came forward after learning of Tyson’s accusations because she felt guilty for not reporting the alleged attack.

“It happened to her [Tyson] after it happened to me. And had I had the strength or the courage to say something in 2000, maybe it never would’ve happened to her,” Watson told CBS This Morning.


Fairfax also maintains that this encounter was consensual.

“On one occasion, late in my senior year in the year 2000, she initiated a consensual encounter with me. I did not rape or sexually assault Meredith Watson. I did not lock the door, turn out the lights, hold her down, or use any physical force whatsoever. We were both willing participants,” he said.


Virginia House Democrats have rebuffed Republican efforts to hold a bipartisan public forum for the women to share their stories, CBS News reports.

Earlier on Wednesday, Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert said he found Tyson and Watson’s accounts “very compelling” and joined in the calls to hold a bipartisan public forum for the women to share their stories. He said, however, that Virginia House Democrats have rebuffed Republican’s efforts to hold such a hearing.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



Not only are polygraphs not reliable, but him believing the encounters to be consensual means absolutely nothing