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Latest in Virginia's Political Mess: Details of Alleged Assault

Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has strongly denied the accusations
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2019 4:01 PM CST
In this Jan. 12, 2018 file photo, Virginia Gov.-elect, Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, center, walks down the reviewing stand with Lt. Gov-elect, Justin Fairfax, right, and Attorney General Mark Herring at the...   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

(Newser) – Virginia's political mess continues to get messier: The woman who says Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004 has now revealed graphic details of what she says occurred. Vanessa Tyson, a politics professor at Scripps College in California, released a lengthy statement via the law firm representing her—the same firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, CNBC reports. She says that after meeting at the Democratic National Convention, where they were both working, and having a few "cordial" interactions, they ended up engaging in "consensual kissing" in Fairfax's hotel room. But things quickly took a dark turn. "As I cried and gagged, Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him," the statement reads.

"I cannot believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual," it continues. "To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent." She explains that she buried the memories for years, but started telling friends about the incident after she saw an article about Fairfax's campaign for lieutenant governor in 2017. Fairfax has insisted the encounter was consensual, but has not yet responded to the latest statement, though he had issued his own lengthy statement earlier Wednesday denying the accusations, the Washington Post reports. Fairfax is second in line to the governorship, which is of note because Gov. Ralph Northam is currently facing calls to resign over a blackface scandal. (The third in line to the governorship has a blackface scandal of his own.)

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