Candace Faber tweeted about Fain on Thursday, after hours of televised testimony on sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
A Seattle woman said Thursday that prominent Washington state Sen. Joe Fain raped her after her college graduation in 2007. Fain denied the accusation and called for an investigation into the alleged incident.
The woman, Candace Faber, tweeted about Fain on Thursday afternoon and later issued a statement saying “we cannot heal without accountability.” The tweet came after hours of televised testimony on sexual-assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Faber said in her tweet that the assault occurred the night she graduated from Georgetown University. She had previously written a post about being assaulted by someone serving in the Washington state Legislature, but did not include a name.
In that earlier account, posted online in June, she described how she and the lawmaker met “at the Capitol” and spent a night out drinking and kissing. She wrote that she helped the drunken man return to his hotel room. In the room, she wrote, he pulled down her dress “so hard the straps tore.”
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She wrote that she pushed him away and said “stop, stop, stop” before eventually relenting. She later asked him for a kiss goodbye, she wrote, and wondered whether she should go to the hospital.
Fain, a Republican from Auburn, denied Faber’s account in a text message to The Seattle Times.
“I absolutely deny what Ms. Faber is accusing me of,” Fain said. “Any allegation of this serious nature deserves to be heard and investigated for all parties involved. I invite and will cooperate with any inquiry. I ask everyone to show respect to Ms. Faber and to the process.”
Neither Faber nor Fain made themselves available for interviews Thursday.
In a statement Friday, state Sen. Anne Rivers, R-La Center, backed his call for an investigation.
“How any investigation occurs obviously is up to the authorities in the relevant jurisdiction, but my fellow Republican senators and I agree that any allegation of this nature must be looked into as thoroughly as possible, no matter who is involved and no matter how many years have passed,” Rivers said.
“We would hope people will allow any investigative process to be completed before drawing conclusions. Let’s get to the truth in a way that is respectful of all those involved,” she said.
On Friday, KUOW reported extensive additional details of Faber’s allegations, including an interview with Faber, and with her mother, Laura Lee Faber, who said she’d noticed immediately that something was wrong with her daughter the day after alleged rape in 2007. She said her daughter broke down sobbing, but wouldn’t explain why, according to KUOW.
KUOW also reported that in 2009, Laura Lee Faber said her daughter told her she had been raped the night of her graduation, without naming the alleged rapist. She said she revealed Fain’s name after President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
“When Trump got elected, she broke,” Laura Lee Faber told KUOW. “The emotions just … so that’s when she told us his name.”
KUOW also reported that in April or May, “Laura Lee Faber said she wrote to Fain with a friend who is a lawyer to request a meeting. Neither Fain nor his staff responded…”
Two friends of Faber said in interviews Friday that she had disclosed her account and Fain’s name to them in recent years.
Catherine Hinrichsen, who co-hosted an end-homelessness event with Faber in 2014, recalled Faber telling her over lunch about a year later. Sol Villarreal, another friend, said Faber recounted the assault and named Fain as her assailant in March 2015.
“We’ve talked about this specifically and him specifically many times since,” Villarreal said. In discussing Faber’s written accounts of the rape, he added: “It is not something she’d have any confusion or doubt about and not something she would make up.”
Brad Hendrickson, secretary of the state Senate, said he did not know when or how an investigation into the allegations would commence. “I have no information other than what appeared in the Seattle Times article and have no comment at this time,” he wrote in an email Friday.
Faber, 35, graduated from Georgetown University in May 2007 with a master’s degree in foreign service, a prestigious program whose alumni includes former President Bill Clinton, four current U.S. senators and decades of diplomats.
She recently worked in the City of Seattle’s Information Technology Department. Her LinkedIn profile shows she has been a guest faculty member at the University of Washington Information School for the past two years.
Fain, 37, was elected to the state Senate in 2010. He rose to serve as majority floor leader from 2013 through 2017, when Republicans controlled the chamber. He is now minority floor leader.
On Thursday, Faber tweeted about the U.S. Senate hearing on Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, where psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford discussed her allegation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.
Faber said in her statement late Thursday that she was inspired by Ford’s courage.
“Like Dr. Ford, I can no longer remain silent knowing that the man who raped me is in a position to influence the laws that govern my state and impact every woman who lives here,” Faber wrote. “I do not believe that survivors have a civic duty to speak out. I believe that we have a civic duty to believe survivors.”
Around 4 p.m. Faber asked on Twitter: “Is anyone else just fed up and ready to name names? Because I am!”
Then she followed up. “So okay, let’s do it. @senatorfain, you raped me the night I graduated from Georgetown in 2007. Then you had the audacity to ask me to support your campaign. I’ve been terrified of running into you since moving home and seeing your name everywhere. I’m done being silent.”
Considered a moderate, Fain was one of four Republican senators who voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2012, and helped negotiate a bipartisan deal for the 2017 paid family-leave law.
In 2017, Fain successfully sponsored Senate Bill 5256, legislation to strengthen Washington’s sexual-assault protection orders. He also co-sponsored legislation to create a bill of rights for sexual-assault survivors. Senate Bill 5686 got a public hearing in the Senate Law and Justice Committee, but did not advance.
Fain represents the 47th legislative district, which includes parts of Auburn, Covington and Kent. He is up for re-election this year, recently besting Democratic challenger Mona Das by about 8 points in the primary. Both will be on the November general-election ballot.
Seattle Times staff reporter Jim Brunner contributed to this report.