Second Fairfax Accuser Says He Acknowledged Alleged Assault In College

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April 2, 2019 8:50 a.m.

After calling for the Virginia legislature to hold public hearings for both herself and another woman who has accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, Meredith Watson told CBS’s Gayle King that Fairfax acknowledged the alleged incident at a party when they were still in college.

Watson came forward with accusations that Fairfax allegedly sexually assaulted and raped her when they were in college at Duke University not long after another woman, Vanessa Tyson, alleged that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Watson described the alleged assault in graphic detail to “CBS This Morning,” claiming that Fairfax, who she described as a good friend throughout college, invited her over to hang out one night toward the end of his senior year.

At one point, Watson alleges, Fairfax turned off the lights, locked the door and held her down while he sexually assaulted and raped her. She said she told two friends about the incident and later confronted Fairfax about the alleged assault after he followed her out of a party.

“And I was just running trying to get away and then I finally stopped and I turned around,” she told CBS. “And all I said to him was, ‘Why? Why would you do that to me.’ And he said, ‘I knew because of what happened to you last year that if I got you in the right situation, you would be too afraid to say or do anything about it.’ … He knew what he was gonna do that night when he asked me to come over.”

Tyson made similar allegations during her interview with King, which aired Monday. She said that in “retrospect,” she believes Fairfax allegedly assaulted her because he knew about her past as a survivor of incest and the work she was doing for a rape crisis center.

Fairfax has denied both women’s allegations and took a polygraph test after Watson came forward with her accusation. His team said he passed the test, specifically questions about his denials of having a conversation with Watson about the encounter being non-consensual.

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