Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox said Tuesday that Democratic lawmakers blocked efforts for a bipartisan hearing for Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, the women who accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of rape, reported The Washington Times.
Cox’s statement: “There should be no mistake about what has happened here: the alleged victims are seeking a bipartisan hearing, Republicans are seeking a bipartisan hearing, Democrats in the House of Delegates are refusing to allow that to happen.”
Reason: House Democratic leader Eileen Filler-Corn refused to participate in the hearing. “We do not believe that the House of Delegates, or any selection of legislators, is the appropriate body to hear these serious allegations,” she wrote in a letter sent to Delegate Rob Bell, chairman of the House Courts Committee.
Background: Tyson and Watson leveled their accusations against the Virginia governor in February. Watson said that the governor raped her when they were students at Duke University in 2000. Tyson alleged that Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The allegations received national attention and prompted calls for Fairfax’s resignation. He, however, denies any wrongdoing, saying that he is a victim of a political smear.