Federal Bureau of Investigation

Lt. Gov. Fairfax's Team Says He Passed Polygraph Test Concerning Sexual Assault Allegations

Fairfax has denied two women's claims of sexual assault, but lost many Democrats' tentative support when the second allegation came out

What to Know

  • Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's team says polygraph test results show he is truthful in denying two sex assault claims against him
  • Fairfax resisted calls to resign after two women separately came forward with assault allegations.
  • The two accusers, Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, both have offered to testify before the General Assembly

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax's team says he took a polygraph that supports his denials that he engaged in non-consensual sexual activity with two women.

Fairfax has vehemently denied the claims of two women who say he assaulted them when he was younger, and his team says the polygraph test affirms his position.

During the test, Fairfax's team says he was asked about encounters with two women who have publicly accused him of assault, Meredith Watson and Vanessa Tyson.

When asked if he had engaged in any non-consensual sexual activity with either woman, Fairfax replied, "no," according to his team, and the polygraph showed the answer was truthful.

The Fairfax team sent News4 a press release on Sunday saying that two tests were given by Jeremiah Hanafin, who also administered a polygraph test to Christine Blassey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assault.

Raw results of the polygraph were not provided. Lawyers for Watson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Tyson's legal team said Tyson hope's that the Virginia General Assembly takes bipartisan action to ensure Fairfax, Tyson and Watson can testify in public.

Tyson also told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King that she wants Fairfax to resign, according to an excerpt of her interview aired on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"In my ideal world, I'd want him to resign," Tyson said in her first TV interview, which will air Monday.

Watson is also set to speak in a TV interview Tuesday on "CBS This Morning."

Polygraphs are inadmissible in Virginia court proceedings under state law, but federal guidelines say they can be used in some cases as evidence in defense. Fairfax faces no court proceedings or charges but has been asked to testify in front of the state's General Assembly.

The team says Fairfax passed two polygraph tests, in which he was also asked more specific questions about the women's claims.

In January, Vanessa Tyson publicly accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.

Meredith Watson also publicly accused Fairfax of sexual assault. She issued a statement accusing him of raping her 19 years ago while they were students at Duke University.

Both accusations came out as it looked like Fairfax might step into the Governorship, as calls grew for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo found on his medical school yearbook page.

Fairfax has resisted calls for the General Assembly to investigate the claims, which he vehemently denies. He has called for the FBI to investigate.

In February, the General Assembly invited Tyson, Watson and Fairfax to testify on the claims. Weeks later, no date has been set.

Lawyers for Tyson and Watson issued statements earlier in February saying they would be willing to testify if impeachment proceedings begin.

Both Tyson and Watson have been critical of the General Assembly for its inaction. Tyson' lawyers issued a statement last month calling for lawmakers to hire "experienced independent investigators'' to probe the allegations against Fairfax.

The Fairfax's press release said, in part:

"From the moment that Dr. Vanessa Tyson and then Ms. Meredith Watson first made accusations that Lt. Governor Fairfax had committed sexual assault decades ago, Lt. Governor Fairfax has been steadfast in saying that the allegations are extraordinarily serious, deserve to be heard, and should be investigated and taken seriously. Lt. Governor Fairfax has also been steadfast from the start in saying that a serious, fair, and impartial investigation and examination of the facts would demonstrate that these allegations are false and that he engaged in no wrongdoing whatsoever."

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