On Wednesday, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s accuser came forward, publicly identifying herself and describing the encounter in July 2004 during which she said Fairfax sexually assaulted her, The Washington Post reports.
“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” said Vanessa Tyson, a fellow at Stanford University and associate professor at Scripps College. She accused Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex during the encounter, which took place during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. “I cannot believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual,” Tyson said. Later Wednesday, in response to Tyson’s statement, Fairfax denied the allegation of sexual assault and Tyson’s description of what happened. Fairfax, who is next in line to be governor if Gov. Ralph Northam resigns, on Monday described the encounter as consensual, called the allegation false and threatened legal action against Tyson. In her statement, Tyson said she decided to come forward after those remarks.