Hounded by claims he sexually assaulted two women, embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax struck back on Sunday by saying the results of two polygraph tests he took bolster his previous statements denying the allegations.
Fairfax said the lie-detector tests were administered by Jeremiah Hanafin, the former FBI agent who conducted a polygraph on Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault and testified at his Senate confirmation hearing.
“All serious allegations deserve to be taken seriously, but not all allegations are true. The public has a right to know if serious allegations made against the Lt. Governor are true, but the public also has a right to know if they are false,” Fairfax’s attorney Barry J. Pollack said in a statement Sunday.
Fairfax has not released the full test results. Polygraph tests are generally not admissible in court.
A married father of two young children, Fairfax has been accused by two women, California political science professor Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, Fairfax’s former college classmate, of sexual assault.
Fairfax released a statement about the results of his polygraph exams in an apparent attempt to preempt Tyson’s first TV interview, conducted by “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, and scheduled to be broadcast on Monday and Tuesday. King’s interview with Meredith Watson is scheduled to air on Tuesday.
“In my ideal world, I’d want him to resign,” Tyson, 42, an associate professor of political science at Scripps College in Claremont, California, said of Fairfax in an excerpt of the interview released by CBS News.
The public has a right to know if serious allegations made against the Lt. Governor are true, but the public also has a right to know if they are false.
Tyson claims Fairfax assaulted her in 2004 when they were both working at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Watson has accused Fairfax of raping her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University.
Both Tyson and Watson did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ABC News on Sunday.
Tyson, according to the CBS interview, wants to testify before the Virginia Assembly about her allegations against Fairfax.
“I would want Meredith, myself, and Mr. Fairfax to be able to speak. To be heard,” Tyson says in the interview. “And particularly for survivors, I think this is incredibly important…we need to be treated as the human beings that we are.”
The allegations were first made when Fairfax, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2017, seemed destined to succeed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. A fellow Democrat, Northam came under scrutiny in February when photos on his 1984 yearbook page from Eastern Virginia Medical School emerged showing two men, one in a full Ku Klux Klan robe and hood and another in blackface.
About 24 hours after apologizing for the photo, Northam denied he was one of the men in the picture, but said during a news conference that he had once worn blackface when he imitated Michael Jackson during a dance competition, in which he did Jackson’s famous moonwalk.
Northam has rejected calls for his resignation, as has Fairfax. Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, who is third in line for the governorship, was also forced to apologize for attending a 1980 party dressed as rapper Kurtis Blow and wearing brown makeup on his face.
‘In my ideal world, I’d want him to resign.’
“Knowing that he was telling the truth, Lt. Governor Fairfax voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination by a leading polygraph expert, Jeremiah Hanafin,” read a statement released Sunday by Fairfax’s office.
During the exams, Fairfax was asked separately about the allegations leveled against him by Tyson and Watson, according to the statement from his office.
“Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Vanessa Tyson?” Fairfax was asked during the first polygraph. He answer “no,” according to the statement from his office.
In the second polygraph, he was asked, “Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Meredith Watson?” Again, Fairfax answered “no.”
Both polygraph examinations, according to the statement, showed that Fairfax was “truthful” in his answers.
“Lt. Governor Fairfax hired Mr. Pollack to help ensure that the facts surrounding the allegations that have been made by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson are determined in a fair, impartial, and unbiased manner,” according to the statement from Fairfax’s office.
Fairfax has repeatedly said the sexual assault allegations made against him are false, and part of an attempt to smear his name. Fairfax, a descendent of a slave, has compared himself to victims of “terror lynchings.”
Pollack repeated Farifax’s calls for a federal investigation into the the allegations against the politician.
“A meaningful, professional factual investigation would exonerate the Lt. Governor and clear his well-earned good name and reputation,” Pollack said in his statement.