Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax’s accuser, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, released a statement Thursday condemning the Virginia General Assembly for its failure to act meaningfully regarding her allegations against the lieutenant governor.
Despite calls from both Fairfax accusers Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, legislative leaders have failed to pursue appropriate action, according to an official statement from the law firm representing Tyson, Katz, Marshall & Banks.
The law firm represented Christine Blasey Ford in hearings regarding allegations brought against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“(T)he Virginia General Assembly has remained silent and has taken no action whatsoever in response to her allegations, even after a second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward to report that Lt. Governor Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000,” the statement reads.
“While lawmakers in both parties have responded with words of concern, they have utterly failed to act and have stood idly by as Lt. Governor Fairfax has impugned Dr. Tyson’s actions as being politically motivated; verbally attacked Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson; [and] threatened to file criminal charges against Dr. Tyson if she pursues criminal charges against him,” the statement continued.
“It now appears that the Virginia General Assembly lacks the political courage to establish a process by which Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson’s serious allegations of sexual violence suffered at the hands of Lt. Governor Fairfax will be fully investigated. We ask the members of the Virginia General Assembly to consider what message such inaction sends to victims of sexual assault and rape.”
Tyson alleged that Fairfax assaulted her while they were at a Democratic National Committee conference in 2004. Fairfax has vehemently denied the allegations and maintains their encounter was consensual.
Watson alleged that Fairfax raped her in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University. Fairfax has also denied Watson’s allegations.
Thursday’s statements come two weeks after Tyson first went public with allegations against Fairfax. Tyson has “made clear that she is willing to cooperate in any investigation by the Virginia General Assembly or other appropriate authorities,” the statement also says.
Virginia’s General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Friday.
“It is unfathomable that the Virginia General Assembly appears intent on ending its current session without addressing this issue in any meaningful way. We call on the General Assembly to hire experienced independent investigators to conduct a prompt and thorough inquiry of these matters. Credible allegations of sexual assault must not be ignored,” the statement reads.
The assembly must act immediately because Tyson and Watson deserve better than supportive words, according to the statement. The statement also calls for “a credible, transparent process in which all sides have the opportunity to be heard.”
Over 150 alumnae of Watson’s alma mater, The Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland, have signed a statement supporting Watson.
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