Fairfax accuser’s lawyer asks for public hearing, claims Lt. Gov. ‘does not want due process’

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The attorney of Meredith Watson, the woman accusing Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of rape in 2000 when the two were students at Duke University, released a statement on Monday afternoon titled “in response to recent developments.” 

Monday’s statement from Ms. Watson’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, comes after Democratic Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) walked back on introducing articles of impeachment against Lt. Gov. Fairfax, something that Hope said he would do on Friday if Fairfax had not stepped down. 

Ms. Smith makes it clear in the statement that her client, who has already agreed to testify, hopes that a public hearing takes place. 

“Meredith Watson asks the Virginia Legislature to hold hearings, regardless of what they are called, and to reject a secret and delayed proceeding,” the statement read. 

Ms. Smith released a statement on behalf of Ms. Watson, the second woman to accuse Mr. Fairfax of sexual assault, on Friday that described the alleged sexual assault as a premeditated, aggressive “attack.” 

Friday’s statement, which requested Fairfax’s resignation, said that the details of Ms. Watson’s alleged attack, “are similar to those described by Dr. Vanessa Tyson.” 

Virginia’s lieutenant governor asked that “no one rush to judgment” as he denied both allegations on Saturday and called for an investigation from authorities and the FBI. 

Ms. Smith claims in Monday’s statement that Mr. Fairfax, despite his calls for an investigation, does not want due process but “wants to assault the character of his victims in secret, not in public and certainly not under oath.” 

After Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson reported that Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax raped them, Fairfax said he wanted “due process”. Impeachment hearings would have provided just that.  It turns out that Mr. Fairfax does not want due process; he wants to assault the character of his victims in secret, not in public, and certainly not under oath. Meredith Watson asks the Virginia Legislature to hold hearings, regardless of what they are called, and to reject a secret and delayed proceeding. Both victims of his sexual assault have agreed to testify and they will produce witnesses and documents to show their honesty and good character.  Please do not allow these women to be further victimized by delay and defamation.”

                                          -Nancy Erika Smith, Meredith Watson’s attorney         

Fairfax’s office has not yet responded to 8News’ request for comment on Ms. Smith’s statement. 

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