Could a "Special Committee" Investigate Claims Against Fairfax?

Feb 12, 2019

Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to figure out a way to handle the sexual assault allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, although at this point there are more questions than answers.

Delegate Marcus Simon is talking with a lawyer representing one of the women to come forward with allegations against Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax about the potential of creating a special committee.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, presides over the Senate session at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. Fairfax has been facing sexual assault charges.
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

But there are questions to about how the committee would work: Who should serve on it? And what they want the outcome to be?

And Simon has more: “Is it an opportunity for a public hearing versus a closed-door hearing? Is it meant to investigate? Or is it meant to be a place for these folks who have come forward to deposit their evidence?”

Senator Amanda Chase says she wants to make sure victims of sexual assault aren’t forced to tell their stories over and over again. “It’s very painful, and I’ve walked with many women through those steps and through that process. And so the less number of times they have to repeat that story the better," Chase says. "And so I want to make sure whatever process we use that we’re protecting the victims.”

A special committee would also let lawmakers put this issue aside for now and finish the legislative session then circle back around and get to the bottom of the allegations against the Lieutenant Governor.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.