Del. Patrick Hope pulls back plans to begin impeachment of Va. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax

In this Thursday Oct. 5, 2017 photo Democrat Justin Fairfax gestures during a debate with Republican Virginia State Sen. Jill Vogel, right, at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, and Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, are running for lieutenant governor in next month’s election. The post that offers few formal duties other than breaking ties in the state Senate but invariably serves as a launching post for future gubernatorial runs. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia Del. Patrick Hope is pulling back on plans to introduce articles of impeachment Monday against state Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.

Hope released a statement Monday that read in part "I have been absolutely horrified by the grave allegations made against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax by Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Ms. Meredith Watson. After reading their accounts, I believe both of these brave women. Their accounts, as well as Lt. Governor Fairfax's behavior since the charges have come forward, indicate a grave problem that we must solve immediately."

Hope continues "Lt. Governor Fairfax should have resigned. It is atrocious that he will be presiding over the Senate of Virginia today with these allegations. The message being sent to victims of sexual assault is chilling. I renew my calls for him to resign immediately."

Earlier Hope wrote on his official Twitter account, "Yesterday I sent draft language to my colleagues on the first step of an impeachment action regarding the lieutenant governor. There has been an enormous amount of sincere and thoughtful feedback which has led to additional conversations that need to take place before anything is filed.

"We owe it to all parties involved-especially the victims-to make sure that we have thought through every option the General Assembly has. That's what these conversations are for-so we can build more consensus on a path forward."

He concluded, "I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson. I promise that my work on this issue will be tireless until we have a process and outcome that treats these women with the respect they deserve going forward."

Hope initially said if Fairfax didn't quit Monday, he would begin the impeachment process.

Watson alleges that Fairfax raped her while they were students at Duke University in 2000. And Tyson, a California college professor, claims she was forced to perform oral sex at a Boston hotel in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention.

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