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Meredith Watson, the second woman who leveled a sexual assault allegation against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), criticized lawmakers in an opinion-editorial Monday for not extending her the opportunity to publicly testify against the embattled official.
Earlier in February, Watson alleged Fairfax raped her while the two studied at Duke University in 2000. Watson said she and Fairfax were friends prior to the alleged incident, but never dated or romantically involved. She is said to have recounted the alleged incident to friends and others in various emails and private Facebook messages.
Watson - Washington - Post
Watson wrote in the Washington Post:
Despite the professed belief of numerous elected officials in Virginia and elsewhere that Vanessa Tyson, who says that Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004, and I have brought forward credible allegations, the Virginia General Assembly has not taken the simple and responsible step of arranging the thorough public hearing that we have sought. This is how the culture of sexual assault, harassment and the disempowerment of women persists.
Fairfax - Tyson - Account - Public - Media
Fairfax denied that he raped me, and he denied Tyson’s account as well. And for many in the public, the media and the Virginia General Assembly, that was that. In one week, they moved on.
I am frustrated by calls for an investigation rather than a public hearing into these matters. Such “investigations” are secret proceedings, out of the public eye, leaving victims vulnerable to selective leaks and smears. And we all know how such investigations end: with “inconclusive results.” My privacy has already been violated, yet I am still willing to testify publicly under oath. Tyson has made the same offer. Our plea to the Virginia General Assembly to require the same of Fairfax has been met with inaction.
Watson - Fairfax - Virginia - Legislature - Handling
Watson concluded the op-ed by writing that Fairfax and Virginia legislature should be “ashamed” of their handling of the matter....
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"Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis