Vanessa Tyson, the woman who has accused Democratic Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, issued a statement Wednesday describing the alleged 2004 incident.
“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. He then forced his penis into my mouth,” Tyson said in a statement.
The allegation first became public Sunday evening on the conservative website Big League Politics. Fairfax has denied the allegation and called the 2004 interaction, which both say took place in Boston at the Democratic National Convention, “100% consensual.”
Tyson said Wednesday that she released the statement about the encounter to set the record straight and that she does not want to get “further embroiled” in the political situation.
A source tells CNN that Tyson, as of now, has decided she is not pressing charges. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts for sexual assault is 15 years.
The top three Democrats in Virginia’s state government are currently contending with various controversies, including Gov. Ralph Northam and state Attorney General Mark Herring admitting to having worn blackface in the 1980s. The trio of controversies has thrown Virginia politics into chaos, as state Democrats look for the best way to move past the swirling issues.
Fairfax has sought to quell the controversy by forcefully taking it on when asked about it by reporters. But after Tyson released her statement Wednesday, Fairfax offered no comment to CNN while walking through the state Capitol.
He later responded to Tyson’s allegations in a written statement, saying he had “never done anything like what she suggests.”
“Reading Dr. Tyson’s account is painful,” he said. “As I said in my statement this morning, I have nothing to hide. Any review of the circumstances would support my account, because it is the truth. 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.”
On Wednesday evening, lawyers from Wilkinson Walsh and Eskovitz announced they were representing Fairfax. The same firm represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when he was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford last year during his confirmation process.
The lieutenant governor has also held a series of private meetings with top Virginia Democrats to defend himself. In one such meeting, according to a Democratic aide briefed on the meetings, Fairfax launched into an expletive-laden attack directed at his accuser and her supporters. A spokesperson for the lieutenant governor told CNN that Fairfax did offer what they describe as an “emotional” defense against the accusations at the meeting.
According to several people in the room, Fairfax showed Virginia Democratic Senate Caucus members a video of his accuser speaking on a panel about the topic of sexual assault. Fairfax made the argument that because she did not describe herself as a victim of assault, her allegations against him were not credible.
Tyson, in her own statement, acknowledged the video Fairfax has sought to use against her.
‘He has continued a smear campaign by pointing reporters to a 2007 educational video in which I talked about being the victim of incest and molestation,” she said. “In that video I did not talk about being assaulted by Mr. Fairfax. This, of course, is not proof that he did not assault me. His reliance on this video to say the opposite is despicable and an offense to sexual assault survivors everywhere.”
This story has been updated.