Dr. Vanessa Tyson, a tenured professor of politics at Scripps College in Claremont, California, has released a statement outlining her account of sexual assault at the hands of Virginia lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax. Tyson’s attorneys released the statement not long after NBC News reported that Fairfax had said “fuck that bitch” during a meeting on Monday evening.
As lieutenant governor, Fairfax is next in line to replace Governor Ralph Northam, who faces nearly universal pressure to resign due to racist photos that appeared on his medical-school yearbook page and his own admission that he wore blackface to a costume contest in 1984. Mark Herring, the state’s attorney general, is now embroiled in his own blackface scandal after he admitted wearing it to a college party. That leaves Fairfax, who has repeatedly denied assaulting Tyson in 2004 and instead insisted that the professor was “very much into a consensual encounter.” Tyson, however, says that she cried as Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex. “I cannot believe, given my obvious state of distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual,” she wrote.
Read the full letter below: