Dr. Vanessa Tyson, the woman accusing Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her back in 2004, released a statement Wednesday providing more detail about the allegations and contesting some of the responses made by Fairfax.
Tyson, who is now a professor at Scripps College, said that Fairfax had physically forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” she wrote.
Fairfax has claimed the incident was “consensual” but Tyson described crying and Fairfax forcefully holding down her neck despite her attempts to move her head away.
“I cannot believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual,” she wrote.
Tyson said that as the #MeToo movement occurred she felt that she should share her story but “felt powerless, frustrated, and completely drained,” when The Washington Post decided not to run it in March 2018.
She wrote a frustrated, private post on Facebook after hearing that Fairfax might be elevated to the rank of Governor following Gov. Northam’s blackface scandal. The post was subsequently captured in a screenshot and released by an online publication.
After the post came out, she said Fairfax attempted a “smear campaign” against her because of the allegations.
“Mr. Fairfax’s suggestion that The Washington Post found me not to be credible was deceitful, offensive, and profoundly upsetting,” she wrote explaining, as The Post had, that they simply had difficulty with corroborating the incident.
“He has continued a smear campaign by pointing reporters to a 2007 educational video in which I talked about being the victim of incest and molestation,” she added. “In that video I did not talk about being assaulted by Mr. Fairfax. This, of course, is not proof that he did not assault me. His reliance on this video to say the opposite is despicable and an offense to sexual assault survivors everywhere.”
In her conclusion, Tyson emphasized that she has no “political motive” and is a “proud Democrat.”
She explained that since Fairfax has “branded her as a liar” she felt compelled to “make clear what happened.”
Earlier Wednesday, NBC reported that Fairfax said “f**k that b***h” about Tyson in a profane comment at a private meeting Monday.
In an official statement Wednesday, Fairfax strongly denied Tyson's allegations, insisting that the encounter was “consensual.”
"I would like to encourage the media, my supporters, and others to treat both the woman who made this allegation and my family with respect for how painful this situation can be for everyone involved," he wrote. "I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice. But I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true."
Virginia Democrats have been plagued with scandal this week. Gov. Ralph Northam’s shocking medical school yearbook photo of someone in blackface and another person in a KKK hood surfaced and, in a press conference Saturday, he admitted to wearing blackface for a dance competition.
Fairfax implied that Gov. Northam was behind his sexual assault allegations coming out shortly after the yearbook photo.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted Wednesday that he too had donned blackface for a costume.