NEW YORK – An accuser of Virginia Democratic lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax discussed her sexual assault allegations against him in her first interview since she came forward in February.
Vanessa Tyson described in detail her alleged encounter with Fairfax at a convention in 2004. She told CBS This Morning’s Gayle King that she still wants Fairfax to resign.
“The voters of Virginia have a right to know both my story and Meredith's story,” Tyson said, referring to Fairfax’s second accuser, Meredith Watson.
Tyson also said she finds it “disgraceful” that Fairfax compared himself to a lynching victim in comments he made after she came forward.
Fairfax has repeatedly denied the allegations. He issued a statement Sunday saying he passed polygraph tests that show he’s telling the truth when he says the encounters were consensual.
In the interview, Tyson said her encounter with Fairfax started as consensual kissing in his hotel room. Then, she described the alleged sexual act in ways that may be disturbing to some people.
“I thought there was something wrong with my neck, and he's pushing down and pushing down and I couldn't hold my neck up,” she said.
She said she was unable to speak at that point.
“To be honest I'm in total shock,” she said of her state of mind in the moment.
She said that, afterward, he called and emailed her a few times but she did not respond or initiate any contact. She then explained why initially she didn’t tell anyone about what happened.
“I was so ashamed. I was so humiliated on so many levels,” she said.
Tyson is now a college political science professor in California. At the time, she was working at a rape crisis center as a survivor speaker. She said before the alleged assault took place, she had told Fairfax she was a survivor of incest.
Tyson described how Watson stepping forwarded had a positive impact on her.
“I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is to come forward, especially against someone powerful, and when she came forward, she didn't want me to feel alone and that meant the world to me,” Tyson said.
Watson also spoke with CBS This Morning.
“Had I had the strength or the courage to say something in 2000, maybe it never would have happened to her,” she said.
Tyson said she still would like to testify in front of a General Assembly committee.
Many top Democrats have called for Fairfax to resign amid the allegations.