Suffolk County DA to Look Into Allegations Against Fairfax

Vanessa Tyson has publicly accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel room at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston

Massachusetts prosecutors will meet with attorneys for a California professor who has accused Virginia's lieutenant governor of sexually assaulting her in Boston.

The alleged incident happened in 2004. Vanessa Tyson claims she was sexually assaulted by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax in a Boston hotel room while both were in town for the Democratic National Convention 15 years ago.

"This is a very unique circumstance," said Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who recently sent a letter to Tyson''s legal team to see if they're interested in pursuing a criminal case after she learned about the allegation from news reports.

"Dr. Tyson will meet with members of the Suffolk County District Attorney's staff and law enforcement to detail her allegations of sexual assault," Tyson's lawyer, Debra Katz, said in a statement Wednesday.

Rollins says she's not sure how long the investigation would last.

"We would treat this no different from any other case," said Rollins. "Any credible allegation is investigated."

Fairfax has said the encounter was consensual. His spokesperson has said that Fairfax would consider pursuing charges against Tyson if she makes what he calls "a false criminal complaint" against him.

"This is a clear effort to obstruct justice," said Katz. "Dr. Tyson will not be bullied and she will not be silenced by such threats."

The case has been getting national headlines, as Fairfax could step in to become governor of Virginia, as Gov. Ralph Northam is facing a crisis of his own, facing pressure to resign over a racist photo.

"We're not going to be looking at who's alleged to have committed the crime or who the victim is," said Rollins. "We're going to be looking at where the facts lead us."

Katz says she spoke with Rollins Wednesday and they're working on scheduling a meeting.

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