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Woman who accused Virginia lieutenant governor of sex assault speaks

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The woman whose sexual assault allegations against Virginia’s lieutenant governor surfaced this week is speaking publicly about the encounter.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax has repeatedly denied her allegations, saying the encounter was consensual.

Vanessa Tyson issued a statement Wednesday saying Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. The Associated Press typically does not identify those who say they were sexually assaulted, but Tyson issued the statement in her name.

Earlier Wednesday, Fairfax issued a statement saying the woman expressed no discomfort at the time, or during the years afterward. He said he first heard about her accusation from a reporter in 2018.

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Tyson said she went to Fairfax’s hotel room so he could get documents. She said they began consensually kissing but he then forced her into oral sex. She said she couldn’t move her head because he was holding down her neck.

Tyson has not responded to messages from The AP seeking comment.