RICHMOND, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax believes that passing two polygraph tests is enough to disprove sexual assault claims levelled against him by two women, but at least one of his accusers still wants him to resign.
CBS News released excerpts Sunday of its interview with Vanessa Tyson, who says Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004. The full interview will air Monday.
Fairfax says the encounter was consensual.
According to Fairfax’s office, two polygraph tests were administered by retired FBI agent Jeremiah Hanafin – who also administered a polygraph test for Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
In a statement from Fairfax’s office, the Lieutenant Governor says he believed that his accuser’s claims were serious and warranted an investigation. But he added that his claims to the contrary also needed to be taken seriously.
In the excerpts released by CBS, Tyson reiterates her call for Fairfax's resignation and says she's willing to testify about her experience at a public hearing. She had previously indicated a willingness to testify but said any hearing should be conducted in a bipartisan manner.
In Sunday’s statement, Fairfax also says the polygraph results also exonerate him from the claims of a second accuser, Meredith Watson.
Complete statement from Lt. Governor's office:
Polygraph Demonstrates that the Accusations
Made Against Lt. Governor Fairfax Are False
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.
Knowing that he was telling the truth, Lt. Governor Fairfax voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination by a leading polygraph expert, Jeremiah Hanafin. Mr. Hanafin is a retired FBI polygraph expert who was previously chosen by Dr. Vanessa Tyson’s attorney, Ms. Debra Katz, to perform a polygraph examination of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford relating to Dr. Ford’s allegations against then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Mr. Hanafin did not just give Lt. Governor Fairfax one polygraph examination. He administered two different polygraph examinations to the Lt. Governor – one relating to the allegations made by Vanessa Tyson and one related to the allegations made by Meredith Watson. Lt. Governor Fairfax passed both examinations.
When asked: “Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Vanessa Tyson?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
When asked: “Did you engage in any non-consensual sexual activity with Meredith Watson?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
The polygraph examinations also demonstrated that Lt. Governor Fairfax was telling the truth when he denied specific allegations that have been made by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson.
Dr. Tyson has stated that while she was with Lt. Governor Fairfax in his hotel room at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, she was crying, in obvious distress. Yet, when asked during a polygraph examination, “Was Vanessa Tyson crying at any time while she was in your hotel room?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
Dr. Tyson has also stated that she “consciously avoided Mr. Fairfax for the remainder of the Convention and I never spoke to him again.” Yet, when asked during a polygraph examination, “After leaving Boston, did Vanessa contact you and suggest visiting you and meeting her mother?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “yes.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
Similarly, in the second polygraph examination, Lt. Governor Fairfax was asked about specific allegations made by Meredith Watson. Ms. Watson has stated that her sexual liaison with Lt. Governor Fairfax in 2000 while they were both students at Duke University was “premeditated rape.” In fact, their interaction was completely consensual. When asked during a polygraph examination, “Did Meredith Watson give you any physical or verbal indication she did not want to have sexual contact with you?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
Ms. Watson has also claimed that Corey Maggette, who was at the time a basketball player at Duke, also raped her while she was a student at Duke. Mr. Maggette has completely and categorically denied that allegation. Ms. Watson has claimed that when she saw Lt. Governor Fairfax on one occasion after she says Lt. Governor Fairfax raped her, she asked him, “Why did you do it?,” implying that Mr. Fairfax had had sex with her against her will. According to Ms. Watson, Lt. Governor Fairfax responded, “I knew that because of what happened to you last year [referencing the supposed rape committed against her by Mr. Maggette], you’d be too afraid to say anything.” In fact, no such conversation between Ms. Watson and Lt. Governor Fairfax ever occurred. When asked during a polygraph examination, “After this incident, did you have a conversation with Meredith Watson where she implied your sexual contact with her was non-consensual?,” Lt. Governor Fairfax answered, “no.” The polygraph examination showed that this was a truthful answer.
Jeremiah Hanafin served as an FBI agent for nearly 25 years during which he was an expert polygraph examiner in the Washington, D.C. Field Office. He performed over 2,500 polygraphs for the FBI. Mr. Hanafin for many years also conducted polygraph examinations for the Fairfax County Police Department. He was hired by Dr. Tyson’s attorney, Ms. Debra Katz, when she was representing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to administer a polygraph examination of Dr. Ford.
Jeremiah Hanafin was selected by Lt. Governor Fairfax’s attorney, Barry J. Pollack, for the same reason Mr. Hanafin was previously selected by Ms. Katz – Mr. Hanafin is unquestionably one of the country’s foremost expert polygraph examiners.
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. Mr. Pollack, a past president of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, said, “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.” Lt. Governor Fairfax has repeatedly called for law enforcement to investigate the allegations lodged by Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson. Mr. Pollack reiterated that Lt. Governor Fairfax will cooperate fully in any law enforcement investigation. “A meaningful, professional factual investigation,” Mr. Pollack said, “would exonerate the Lt. Governor and clear his well-earned good name and reputation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report