After repeated demands for a bipartisan meeting to have their stories heard, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax’s accusers were denied a hearing by Democrats.
In a written statement, Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox announced that the proposed bipartisan meeting was shot down, despite most groups calling for it.
“There should be no mistake about what has happened here: the alleged victims are seeking a bipartisan hearing; Republicans are seeking a bipartisan hearing; Democrats in the House of Delegates are refusing to allow that to happen,” said Cox in the statement.
Fairfax is accused of sexual assault by Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, both of whom claim that they were victims from incidents that occurred over a decade ago. During an interview with CBS on Tuesday, Watson spoke out about her disappointment in the decision.
“I want some action from the Virginia legislature,” said Watson, a single mother from Maryland. “If you have to hold someone down, it’s not consensual.”
Watch Watson’s interview below:
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 2, 2019
Tyson also spoke out about the issue on Monday when she criticized Democrats and demanded a public hearing.
“Sexual assault should never be a racial issue. It should never be a partisan issue,” Tyson said.
Meredith Watson, who alleges VA Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax raped her when both were students at Duke: "You have someone in a position of leadership who has the ability to affect legislation on how these issues will be handled, and he himself is a predator." https://t.co/XkArSLhSL0 pic.twitter.com/TSzglG1LFj
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 2, 2019
As IJR reported, Democrats have supported the women testifying, but not in a public hearing.
“We do not believe that the House of Delegates, or any selection of legislators, is the appropriate body to hear these serious allegations,” said Eileen Filler-Corn, in a letter to the chairman of the House Courts Committee Delegate Rob Bell, which would conduct the hearing.
Fairfax has repeatedly denied the accusations and a spokesman for the legislator claimed he took a polygraph test on Friday and passed. However, these tests are known to be inconclusive and do not prove innocence. He has also requested investigations to be conducted against the two women in order to further clear his name.