News & Politics

Virginia Lt. Governor Sex Assault Accuser Still Wants Him to Resign

Virginia Lt. Governor Sex Assault Accuser Still Wants Him to Resign
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax gestures during the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Whatever happened to…Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax?

When last we left the rising Democratic star, he had been accused of sexual assault by Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson. This was at the height of the #MeToo hysteria and there were calls across the board for Fairfax to resign.

But Fairfax is a Democrat. And that simple sentence speaks volumes.

Fairfax decided to hunker down to weather the storm. He took a polygraph test, the results of which weren’t released, but his spokesperson assures us he engaged in “no wrongdoing whatsoever.” He resisted calls for an investigation by the legislature and has been successful — with the help of the media — in disappearing the story down the rabbit hole.

But Ms. Tyson is still trying to get Fairfax to own up to his attack.


“In my ideal world, I’d want him to resign.” Tyson told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King in her first TV interview to air Monday. She alleges that Fairfax assaulted her while they were both working at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. She came forward with her allegations in early February, and is in contact with the Suffolk County District Attorney in Boston to her explore options.

Tyson, an associate professor of political science at Scripps College in Claremont, California, said that she came forward in part so that her students interested in politics would not have similar experiences.

“I don’t want this to ever, ever, ever happen to them,” Tyson said. Her second reason for coming forward, she said, was because “the Virginia people need to know who they elected.”

Tyson said that she wanted a public hearing in the Virginia Assembly, not an investigation by the legislature, because investigations may allow people in power to cover up information.

“I would want Meredith, myself, and Mr. Fairfax to be able to speak. To be heard,” Tyson said, referring to Fairfax’s other accuser, Meredith Watson. “And particularly for survivors, I think this is incredibly important…we need to be treated as the human beings that we are.”

Sober reflection would suggest that if Fairfax was a Republican…well, you know the rest. The #MeToo movement would not have let this story drop from the news. There would be demonstrations, op-eds, screeching pundits on TV, demands to boycott the state of Virginia until Fairfax was gone.

But Fairfax is a Democrat so that wasn’t an option.

You can call out the hypocrisy of anti-sex assault advocates, but what good would it do? They are oblivious to their own double standards, and if they’re cynical enough to realize it, they don’t have to worry about the media pointing it out.

And while we’re on the subject of Virginia Democratic politicians who were called on to resign, whatever happened to Governor Ralph Northam? Northam was condemned from one end of the state to the other for appearing in blackface in an old yearbook photo. He, too, was able to resist the numerous calls for him to resign by apologizing profusely, while claiming he didn’t remember the incident.

If Northam were a Republican…ah, fagettaboutit.