RICHMOND, Va. - (AP) -- Virginia House Republicans have announced plans to hold a meeting where Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and the two women who have accused him of sexual assault can testify.
Republican Del. Rob Bell said Friday that the House Courts of Justice Committee plans to invite Vanessa Tyson, Meredith Watson and Fairfax for a "chance to be heard" at an unnamed future hearing date.
The two women have recently come forward with allegations that Fairfax, a Democrat, sexually assaulted them years ago. Both women have criticized the General Assembly's handling of their allegations.
Fairfax has denied both accusations and said the matters should be investigated by law enforcement authorities.
Watson Accepts Invitation to Testify
"Meredith Watson is gratified that the Virginia General Assembly has announced their intention to hold hearings, and she looks forward to testifying at this forum. It is our understanding that the hearing will be public and televised and that Ms. Watson, Dr. Tyson and Lt. Governor Fairfax will all testify under oath and be subject to the same rules and requirements, including our right to present witnesses and corroborators."
-- Nancy Erika Smith, Attorney for Meredith Watson
Friday's announcement is likely to set off a fierce partisan brawl, as Democrats have strongly resisted calls for the General Assembly to investigate.
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