Later this week, the Virginia legislature comes back into session, and its biggest headache already awaits. Two women insist that Democratic Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted them in the past, and they want the legislature to investigate the allegations. Fairfax insists he’s innocent and that the encounters were consensual, but Vanessa Tyson went on CBS This Morning to rebut Fairfax:

“We’re kissing lying down. And we’re kissing. Like, so our heads are level with each other. And then it was like my neck didn’t work,” Tyson said.

“What do you mean?”

“It– it– it– it– it was like I couldn’t– I couldn’t feel my neck. I couldn’t hold my head up,” Tyson said. “He’s using his hand on the back of my neck. And I still didn’t know what was going wrong. I thought there was something wrong with my neck… And he’s pushing down and pushing down. And I couldn’t hold my neck up. And I didn’t know what was going on. I honestly didn’t know what was going on. And then the next thing I know, like, my head is, like, literally in his crotch… And I’m choking and gagging. And, you know, I couldn’t say anything ’cause I’m choking and gagging. And so, you know, it continues for– and he’s holding my head. So I can’t lift– like, I’m trying to lift my head, but I can’t.”

Fairfax continues to deny the allegations, insisting that his accusers are trying to smear him. In a statement to CBS News, Fairfax claims that he has passed a polygraph and that as a result he has been cleared of the allegations:

That’s a clever PR ploy, but it’s not likely to fool too many people. In the first place, polygraphs are sometimes helpful but hardly conclusive. They’re an investigative tool whose subjectivity makes it difficult to sustain claims of innocence or guilt.  A great deal depends on what questions are asked, how those questions are framed, and who’s doing the test. Polygraphs done at the behest and under the control of the accused are usually worthless, and in any case don’t qualify as evidence in any courtroom.

Put it this way: if all Fairfax has to rebut this emotional public testimony is a PR polygraph, he’s in a lot of trouble, at least politically. Pay attention to the comments after Gayle King read his statement on air from the panel. They noted, as did millions of their viewers, that Tyson appears genuinely emotionally impacted by whatever happened in that hotel room fifteen years after the fact. That may not be enough to convict, and in fact it shouldn’t be enough to convict, but it’s enough to have voters reach conclusions about Fairfax’s future as a public official in the state.

Add to that his second accuser, and it’s safe to say that Fairfax will need to think about what he plans to do after this term in office that doesn’t involve standing for election. After all, there are thousands of potential candidates for office that don’t have this kind of baggage, which makes it a buyer’s market for voters. Meredith Watson also sat down with Gayle King:

That’s just a taste of an interview that will air tomorrow. Both women want to testify under oath. Will the legislature act by opening an investigation? That’s the only venue Fairfax actually has for due process, which he has demanded since the allegations came to light, although it seems doubtful that legislative hearings were what Fairfax wanted. The statutes of limitation have long since expired on both incidents, even civilly, so the legislature is the only venue left for Fairfax to formally challenge the allegations.

One has to think that Virginia legislative leaders might have hoped that Fairfax would have resigned by now, but they didn’t get that lucky. With Tyson beginning to publicly push for action, they won’t have a lot of choice other than to start an investigation.