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6 February 2019, 21:59 GMT / Updated on 6 February 2019, 10:25 GMT
From Allan Smith
The woman who is Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax accused her of an assault in 2004, describing her allegation in a long statement issued Wednesday through her legal team.
Vanessa Tyson, an associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California, who is currently on leave, accused Fairfax of the assault in a hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. She said on Wednesday that she had nice contacts with Fairfax during the convention and that on her third day she invited her to send a message with him that brought them to his hotel room.
It was there, said Tyson, that Fairfax kissed her. "Although surprised by his progress, it was not unwelcome and I kissed him back," she wrote. "He then took my hand and pulled me to bed, I was completely dressed in a trouser suit and did not intend to take off my clothes or engage in sexual activities."
Vanessa Tysonvia Scripps College
She wrote that what started when kissing a consensual relationship quickly turned into a sexual assault, adding that Fairfax forcefully forced her to perform oral sex with him, crying and gagging.
"I can not believe, given my obvious suffering, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was a consensus," she said. "To be very clear, I did not want to have oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any permission, on the contrary, I deliberately avoided Mr Fairfax for the rest of the convention and I never spoke to him again."
Fairfax emphatically denied the claim and claimed that the meeting was a consensus. While Tyson said that she had never spoken to Fairfax again after their meeting in 2004, he insisted that they stay in touch some time after the convention.
After reading the Tyson statement, Fairfax made a statement stating that her account was painfully & # 39; used to be.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax speaks at his office in Richmond on February 2, 2019. Steve Helber / AP
"I've never done anything like it," he said. "As I said in my statement this morning, I have nothing to hide, any assessment of the circumstances would support my report because it is the truth, I take this situation very seriously and keep believing that Dr. Tyson must be treated with respect But I can not agree with a description of events that is simply not true. "
Earlier on Wednesday, Fairfax stressed the importance of listening to "women when they come up with accusations of sexual assault or intimidation."
"As I stated earlier … I had a consensual meeting with the woman who made the claim," Fairfax said. "At no time did she express discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that meeting, nor during the months after, when she contacted me, nor the past 15 years that had happened between us made her uncomfortable."
Tyson said she did not talk about the incident for years, but told good friends in Virginia when she heard of Fairfax's 2017 campaign. She also said that she approached a friend in The Washington Post to investigate her claims. The Post ultimately did not report after she could not confirm her allegation, the publication said earlier this week, although she did not find any red flags or inconsistencies in her account that Fairfax had claimed.
Tyson said in her statement that the incident had been revived last week after she had heard that Fairfax could quickly rise to governor. Democratic Government Ralph Northam is embroiled in a scandal with a photograph on his 1984 medical school yearbook page featuring a person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan robes. Tyson then wrote a private message on Facebook about the alleged incident without identifying Fairfax by name.
The episode comes when Northam is faced with increasing pressure from fellow Democrats to step down on the yearbook photo. Northam initially acknowledged that he was in the picture and apologized for the racist image, but then denied that he was at a news conference on Saturday in which he also admitted that he was dressed in Blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume during a dance contest in that same year.
And on Wednesday, the person who was second-in-line for the governorship behind Fairfax – Democratic Prosecutor General Mark Herring – admitted that he once wore blackface at a party in the 1980s. He apologized for the incident, which he said happened when he was 19, adding that "the shame of that moment has been haunting me for decades."
If Northam, Fairfax and Herring were to resign, Virginia's House Speaker Kirk Cox, a Republican, is the next in line to be governor.