The district attorney of Suffolk County in Massachusetts will meet with Dr. Vanessa Tyson to discuss her allegations of sexual assault against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, according to a statement released Wednesday.
According to the Boston Globe, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said Tuesday she was ready to investigate the allegations that Fairfax had assaulted Tyson at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Rollins told the Globe that she had emailed Tyson’s attorneys last Thursday to inform them that if Tyson wanted to file a criminal complaint against Fairfax, Rollins’ office would investigate.
“We will help in any way we can if she chooses to come forward,” Rollins told the Globe in an interview. “We would offer any number of services starting from getting them in touch with counselors all the way, if they were so inclined, to seek prosecution.”
Fairfax spokeswoman Lauren Burke told the Globe that Fairfax has never sexually assaulted anyone and said he would fully cooperate with any investigation by the Suffolk DA if a criminal complaint is filed.
Burke also said that if Tyson does file a criminal complaint, Fairfax would respond by filing a criminal complaint of his own against Tyson for “the filing of a false criminal complaint against him.”
Massachusetts has a 15-year statute of limitations for sexual assaults—meaning Tyson would have just six months to file a criminal complaint against Fairfax if she chose to. According to the Globe, prosecutors could possibly argue that Fairfax stopped the clock on the statute of limitations when he left the state.
CNN correspondent Ryan Nobles later released a statement from Tyson’s attorney that confirmed the meeting would happen.
The full statement said:
I spoke with Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins this afternoon. Dr Tyson will meet with members of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s staff and law enforcement to detail her allegations of sexual assault. We are working to schedule a meeting.
Earlier Today, Lt. Governor Fairfax’s spokeswoman issued a shocking threat, as reported by The Boston Globe, that Lt. Governor Fairfax would initiate criminal charges against Dr. Tyson if she presses charges against him for sexually assaulting her in 2004. This is a clear effort to obstruct justice. Dr. Tyson will not be bullied and she will not be silenced by such threats.
As Dr. Tyson stated earlier, she will cooperate with all appropriate investigations, and awaits further word from leadership in the Virginia legislature about how it will proceed.
According to WTKR, Fairfax’s team issued the following statement in response:
We understand that Dr. Tyson will meet with members of the Suffolk County District Attorney staff.
As we stated earlier, the Lt. Governor looks forward to any investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney.
We have said all along we are open to a full, fair and impartial and non-political investigation of this matter that affords due process to all. We look forward to meeting the Suffolk County District Attorney should they decide to commence an investigation and will cooperate fully.
We know that when all accounts are heard that the truth will prevail and his name will be cleared.
Tyson has said Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him while they were both attending the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He has denied the claim and said the encounter was consensual.
On Friday, Meredith Watson came forward and said Fairfax assaulted her in 2000 when they were both students at Duke University. Fairfax has denied that claim as well.