Virginia Lt. Gov. compares himself to lynching victim during sexual assault investigation
Embattled Virginia Lt Gov Justin Fairfax is fighting back against several sexual assault claims and on Sunday gave a controversial speech comparing himself to a lynching victim.
“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.
“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 was speaking against the two alleged victims who have said the Lt. Gov. sexually assaulted them and the many subsequent calls for his resignation.
Del Todd Gilbert, Republican House Majority Leader, called Fairfax’s comments about lynchings highly inappropriate, the Daily Mail reports.
“That is the worst, most disgusting type of rhetoric he could have invoked,” Gilbert said.
“It’s entirely appropriate for him to talk about due process and we would intend to offer him every ounce of it, and he’s welcome to take advantage of that anytime he would like.”
Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a tenured professor at Scripps College, has accused Fairfax of sexual assault at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. And Meredith Watson has come forward to claim he assaulted her during spring break in 2000 at the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity house, where they were both students at Duke University.
Republicans are scheduled to hold a public hearing this Friday where Fairfax, Tyson and Watson can testify, but the Lt. Gov doesn’t plan to participate, according to reports.