State Watch

Dem congresswoman: ‘I believe’ Fairfax’s accuser

Greg Nash

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) tweeted Wednesday afternoon that she believes the woman who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault.

“I believe Dr. Vanessa Tyson,” Wexton, a freshman representative, wrote.

Tyson released a statement Wednesday in which she detailed her allegation against Fairfax.

“What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault,” Tyson, a college professor from California, said in the statement. “Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him.”

Following Tyson’s statement, Fairfax released a statement on Wednesday denying her account.

“Reading Dr. Tyson’s account is painful,” he said. “I have never done anything like what she suggests.”

Fairfax said in a previous statement that the encounter was consensual.

“At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that encounter nor doing the months following it, when she stayed in touch with me, nor the past fifteen years,” Fairfax said.  “She in no way indicated that anything that had happened between us made her uncomfortable.”

Wexton called on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to resign after Northam’s page in his medical school yearbook surfaced Friday. It showed a picture of a man dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes next to a man dressed in blackface.

“That horrible photo that Governor Northam chose to publish in his medical school yearbook is racist and deeply offensive. That photograph is not reflective of the man and friend I’ve known for the past six years, but it is also not reflective of someone who should be leading our Commonwealth,” freshman Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) said in a statement Friday.

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