Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Sexual Assault Accuser Vanessa Tyson Releases Statement

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax Sexual Assault Accuser Vanessa Tyson Releases Statement

The troubling allegations come after another state official admitted to wearing blackface in the past.

Published February 6, 2019

The professor who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault has released a statement detailing the troubling allegations from the 2004 incident.

In a statement released by her lawyers, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California, said she and Fairfax were engaging in “consensual kissing,” which “quickly turned into a sexual assault.”

According to Tyson, Fairfax allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him in a Boston hotel room while they were attending the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

“To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent,” Tyson wrote. “Quite the opposite. I consciously avoided Mr. Fairfax for the remainder of the Convention and I never spoke to him again.”

Before Tyson released her detailed statement, Fairfax denied the allegation in a statement of his own. Fairfax went on to say that the sexual assault accusation only resurfaced once Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was called to resign for allegedly appearing in blackface in a yearbook photo.

If Northam were to step down, Fairfax would be next in line to become the governor of Virginia.

“Only now, at a time of intense media attention surrounding Virginia politics, has this false claim been raised again,” Fairfax said in a statement on Monday.

In his press release, Fairfax described the incident with Tyson as “a consensual encounter with the woman who made the allegation.”

“At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that encounter, nor during the months following it, when she stayed in touch with me, nor the past fifteen years,” Fairfax wrote

In light of the allegations against Fairfax, both Republicans and Democrats are calling for Tyson’s accusation to be fully heard through an investigation.

The accusations against Tyson come as the state of Virginia struggles to hold on to its Democratic leadership. Not only has Governor Ralph Northam been called to leave office over the alleged blackface photos, but Attorney General Mark Herring is also facing resignation demands for admitting to wearing blackface in the '80s while dressing up as Kurtis Blow.

"It sounds ridiculous even now writing it. But because of our ignorance and glib attitudes - and because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others - we dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup," he said.

"That conduct clearly shows that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others."

Right now, people on Twitter are saying we need to throw the whole Virginia Democratic Party away.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photos from left: Alex Wong/Getty Images, LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)


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