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Embattled Virginia Lt Gov Justin Fairfax compared himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims in a surprise speech Sunday, as he resists widespread calls to resign prompted by allegations of sexual assault.
Fairfax strongly defended himself and lashed out at his critics from his rostrum in the state Senate as the 2019 legislative session was coming to a close.
Anti-lynching - Floor - Senate - People - Process
'I've heard much about anti-lynching on the floor of this very Senate, where people were not given any due process whatsoever, and we rue that,' Fairfax said, referencing legislation the General Assembly passed expressing 'profound regret' for lynchings in Virginia between 1877 and 1950.
'And we talk about hundreds, at least 100 terror lynchings that have happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia under those very same auspices. And yet we stand here in a rush to judgment with nothing but accusations and no facts and we decide that we are willing to do the same thing,' Fairfax said.
Impromptu - Speech - Senators - Silence
When he finished his five-minute impromptu speech, stunned senators sat in awkward silence.
Fairfax has been accused by two women of sexual assault. Both of the alleged victims are African American.
Month - Vanessa - Tyson - Fairfax - Sex
Earlier this month, Vanessa Tyson publicly accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel room during the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004.
Her lawyer said last week that Tyson plans to meet with prosecutors in Massachusetts to detail her allegations.
Meredith - Watson - Fairfax - Assault - Statement
Meredith Watson has also publicly accused Fairfax of sexual assault. She issued a statement accusing him of raping her 19 years ago while they were students at Duke University.
House Republicans announced plans Friday to hold a public hearing where Fairfax, Tyson and Watson can testify, a move that Fairfax and some Democrats have panned as a political ploy.
Fairfax - Hearing
Fairfax has indicated he won't participate in the hearing, leaving it...
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