Vanessa Tyson, the woman who has accused, Justin Fairfax, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia of sexual assault has issued a statement through a law firm of her 2004 encounter with Fairfax at the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Dr. Tyson is an expert in black history and associate professor of politics at Scripps College in California. She is an advocate for victims of sexual assault and has been open with her own experiences.
In the statement, Tyson said that the encounter began with kissing but led to forced oral sex. Her description of the event that occurred in a hotel room with Mr. Fairfax is raw and emotional. She writes, “What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault. 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.” She continued on to say that the Lt. Governor was stronger than her and “as [she] cried and gagged, Mr. Fairfax forced [her] to perform oral sex on him.”
According to multiple colleagues and friends of Tyson, she recounted the events to them at different points in time. Last year, Tyson reportedly told Virginia congressman, Bobby Scott, according to his aides. In a statement about the allegations, Scott said that he has known Tyson for a decade and she “deserves the opportunity to have her story heard.”
Nadia E. Brown, a political scientist at Purdue University also said that Dr. Tyson told her of the assault about a year ago while the two were working with a group of political scientists who were combating sexual harassment.
Fairfax denies the claims and has retained lawyers to assist him in the case. He said in a statement, “I take this situation very seriously and continue to believe Dr. Tyson should be treated with respect. But I cannot agree to a description of events that simply is not true.”