Vanessa Tyson, a college professor who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) of sexual assault, has detailed her allegations in a vivid account.
Tyson has alleged the lieutenant governor sexually assaulted her in 2004. Fairfax denies the allegations.
What are the details?
Fairfax would be the first in line to replace scandal-embroiled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Northam is facing myriad calls to resign after a photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook was released, featuring a photograph of a white person in blackface next to a person dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe.
As the possibility of Northam's resignation became more real, allegations against Fairfax were uncovered. It was revealed that local media outlets knew of Tyson's allegations for months, but refused to publish them because they could not be corroborated.
Fairfax has denied the allegations, and appeared to suggest that the allegations were politically motivated. He did, however, admit to being sexually involved with Tyson, but in a consensual manner.
On Wednesday, Tyson issued a statement on the alleged incident, describing in lurid detail the manner in which Fairfax reportedly sexually assaulted her.
A portion of Tyson's statement read:
What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault," she says. "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. Utterly shocked and terrified, I tried to move my head away, but could not because his hand was holding down my neck and he was much stronger than me. As I cried and gagged, Mr. Fairfax forced me to perform oral sex on him. I cannot believe, given my obvious distress, that Mr. Fairfax thought this forced sexual act was consensual. To be very clear, I did not want to engage in oral sex with Mr. Fairfax and I never gave any form of consent. Quite the opposite. I consciously avoided Mr. Fairfax for the remainder of the Convention and I never spoke to him again.
What did Fairfax say?
Fairfax issued a response on Wednesday, continuing to deny the allegations.
About Tyson's allegations, Fairfax said, "I would like to encourage the media, my supporters, and others to treat both the woman who made this allegation and my family with respect for how painful this situation can be for everyone involved. I wish her no harm or humiliation, nor do I seek to denigrate her or diminish her voice. But I cannot agree with a description of events that I know is not true."
According to an NPR report, Tyson has hired the same law firm that represented Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
You can read more about the background of Tyson's allegations here.