Things just went from bad to worse for Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, whose accuser has released disturbing details about his alleged sexual assault.
Vanessa Tyson, now a professor of politics at Scripps College in Claremont, California, claims that Fairfax sexually assaulted her at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
The alleged sexual assault first came to public light on Sunday. Fairfax initially issued a statement denying the allegation completely, but then clarified that there was an encounter but that it was consensual.
On Wednesday, Tyson went public with what she said are the details about the incident in a statement on Wednesday through her legal team, Katz, Marshall and Banks. (That’s the same D.C. law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers.)
Tyson said the incident occurred on the third day of the convention. She’d met Fairfax over the course of the previous two days because both were working at the convention.
During the afternoon of the third day, she said, she agreed to accompany him to his hotel room to pick up some convention-related materials.
Then things took a different turn.
WARNING: The following details contain graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson recounted in her statement.
“Mr. Fairfax put his hand behind my neck and forcefully pushed my head towards his crotch. Only then did I realize that he had unbuckled his belt, unzipped his pants, and taken out his penis. He then forced his penis into my mouth,” Tyson said.
Tyson said she tried to get away, but Fairfax held her down.
“Utterly shocked and terrified, I tried to move my head away, but could not because his hand was holding down my neck and he was much stronger than me,” Tyson continued.
Statement of Dr. Vanessa Tyson, who has accused Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault in 2004:
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault.” pic.twitter.com/UI9Gz11DWj
— Sarah McCammon (@sarahmccammon) February 6, 2019
It goes without saying that these details are absolutely horrifying.
But it’s important to keep in mind that these are accusations and Fairfax deserves the presumption of innocence.
Regardless, the damning allegation couldn’t have come at a worse time for Fairfax.
On Saturday, just one day before the allegation made headlines, Fairfax was endorsed by the Virginia Democratic Party to take the governor’s place.
That’s because Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is also in the middle of a controversy after a racist photo in the governor’s medical school yearbook from 1984 resurfaced.
Democrats called for Northam to resign, but now it’s looking like Fairfax, who would take Northam’s place by default, has his own problems to deal with.
If Tyson’s disturbing sexual assault allegation gains traction, it’s a good chance that Fairfax’s political career will be finished.
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