Lt. Gov. Fairfax responds to report hinting at sexual assault accusation

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Justin Fairfax_633666

In this Thursday Oct. 5, 2017 photo Democrat Justin Fairfax gestures during a debate with Republican Virginia State Sen. Jill Vogel, right, at the University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, and Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, are running for lieutenant governor in next month’s election. The post that […]

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is responding to an online article where a Stanford fellow hinted Fairfax sexually assaulted her. 

The conservative-leaning site Big League Politics shared a private post from Vanessa Tyson’s social media page where she said an office-holder who is about to get a very big promotion sexually assaulted her at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Fairfax released a statement on his personal and official Twitter pages overnight, calling the allegation “false and unsubstantiated.”

The statement said the claim against Fairfax was first taken to The Washington Post more than a year ago — and that the paper decided not to publish a story on the allegation.

Addressing members of the media Monday morning, Fairfax admitted to having a consensual sexual relationship with a woman in the hotel room.

“We hit it off, she was very interested in me. Eventually at one point we ended up going to my hotel room, this is in 2004,” Fairfax told reporters, adding the woman was “very much into a consensual encounter.”

The lieutenant governor said he was still in law school at Columbia Law School at the time.

Fairfax said, “Does anybody think it’s a coincidence that on the eve of my potentially being elevated that this uncorroborated smear comes out?”

The reported allegation against Fairfax comes amid calls for Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation over a racist photo in his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page.

The Washington Post reported Northam called an unscheduled meeting with senior staff members Sunday night. The paper reported Northam has not reached a decision regarding a possible resignation, citing sources familiar with the meeting.

According to the Post’s story, Fairfax was not in attendance at this meeting.

In a news conference on Saturday, Northam said he is not in the racist picture — a contradiction of a statement he released on Friday that said the photo was him and apologized. 

Northam said Saturday he had taken a closer look at the photo and believes neither of the individuals in the photo is him.

Regarding the scandal surrounding Northam, Fairfax said, “I believe the governor has to make a decision that is in the best interest of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

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