A colleague of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax accuser Dr. Vanessa Tyson has said publicly this week that Tyson told her of the alleged 2004 attack last fall.
The Mercury News reports:
Tyson’s Stanford colleague Jennifer Freyd told the Bay Area News Group on Tuesday that sometime last fall, at the start of their fellowship program, Tyson told Freyd and a couple of other colleagues about the 2004 encounter at the Boston convention. Freyd doesn’t remember whether Tyson named Fairfax, but said that she spoke about it while “illustrating a concept” they were discussing about sexual violence.
“It was not that remarkable in that many times I’ve sat with colleagues and they talked about being victimized and how it fits in with what we are talking about,” said Freyd, a University of Oregon psychology professor who is part of the same Stanford behavioral sciences fellowship program with Tyson.
To recap the allegations, here are excerpts of Dr. Tyson’s statement (hat tip: streiff), which was released today:
I met Mr. Fairfax on July 26, 2004, when he and I were working at the Convention. We struck up a conversation on the first day of the Convention and soon realized we had a mutual friend. We crossed paths occasionally during the first two days and our interactions were cordial, but not flirtatious. We commiserated about our long work hours, and on the afternoon of the third day of the Convention, July 28, 2004, Mr. Fairfax suggested that I get some fresh air by accompanying him on a quick errand to retrieve documents from his room in a nearby hotel. Given our interactions up to that time, I had no reason to feel threatened and agreed to walk with him to his hotel. I stood in the entryway of the room and after he located the documents, he walked over and kissed me. Although surprised by his advance, it was not unwelcome and I kissed him back. He then took my hand and pulled me towards the bed. I was fully clothed in a pantsuit and had no intention of taking my clothes off or engaging in sexual activity. In the back of my mind, I also knew I needed to return to Convention headquarters.
What began as consensual kissing quickly turned into a sexual assault. 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.
Her full statement, which she made through the same legal team that represented Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against then-Judge Kavanaugh, can be read here. In it, she also details why she has not stepped forward before now, outside of when she went to the Washington Post in December 2017 to tell them her story (which they decided not to run).
Professor Freyd’s public comments recalling what Tyson told her last year isn’t definitive proof that Lt. Gov. Fairfax committed the alleged assault, but it does add another interesting layer to this developing story.
Something else to watch for as this story develops is how the mainstream media treats Dr. Tyson. Some outlets have chosen not to include the fact that she’s a doctor in their reporting, unlike how it was a given that they would include it in their reports about Dr. Ford:
Both Christine Blasey Ford and Vanessa Tyson have PhDs. Let's see how NBC decides to title them: 🤔🤔🤔 pic.twitter.com/15jAnmJhb4
— Steven Greenstreet (@MiddleOfMayhem) February 5, 2019
Adding a title like that lends a person an air of credibility in media circles, and because they did it with Dr. Ford, they should make sure to do so in this case as well to maintain consistency and to avoid accusations of bias.
Also, something else to watch for is whether or not the #MeToo #BelieveAllWomen crowd will ever speak up forcefully in defense of Dr. Tyson. They did so without hesitation in the Ford/Kavanaugh case before any facts were presented, even going so far as to stir up an anarchistic mob-rule type atmosphere in and around DC before and during his confirmation process.
The fact that their normally shrill voices have mostly remained silent this time around is just more proof that they’re only interested in “believing all women” when it benefits their political agenda.
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