‘Done Being Silent’: Former Seattle Official Accuses Washington State Sen. Joe Fain Of Rape

Senate Republican floor leader Joe Fain, R-Auburn. CREDIT: TED WARREN
Senate Republican floor leader Joe Fain, R-Auburn. CREDIT: TED WARREN

BY SYDNEY BROWNSTONE, KUOW

The tweet came 20 minutes after Thursday’s tumultuous Kavanaugh hearings concluded.

Candace Faber, who had served as a liaison between the City of Seattle and the tech industry, said she was “fed up” and “ready to name names.

“@senatorfain, you raped me the night I graduated from Georgetown in 2007,” Faber tweeted. “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.”

Faber later posted a statement about the tweets to Medium. “Like many survivors, I was inspired by Dr. Ford’s courage,” she wrote.

Washington state Sen. Joe Fain, a moderate Republican from Auburn, denied Faber’s written allegations to The Seattle Times. “Any allegation of this serious nature deserves to be heard and investigated for all parties involved,” Fain told the Times. “I invite and will cooperate with any inquiry. I ask everyone to show respect to Ms. Faber and to the process.”

Last year, Fain sponsored legislation to expand protections for survivors of rape and sexual assault. He did not respond to KUOW’s questions about Faber’s allegations Thursday or Friday morning.

Candace Faber, pictured here in the office of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the weekend she says she was raped by Sen. Joe Fain. CREDIT: CANDACE FABER

Candace Faber, pictured here in the office of the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the weekend she says she was raped by Sen. Joe Fain. CREDIT: CANDACE FABER

Faber left her job in Seattle city government after she said she experienced a mental health breakdown in 2017. She said she was diagnosed with acute psychosis with a marked stressor—a trigger she said was related to sex and sexuality. At the time, she was guest faculty at the University of Washington’s Information School, where people talked to her about Fain’s work, and where she worried she might bump into him at an event. Both Faber and her mother said that Faber never experienced this kind of mental health issue prior to last year. Faber believes it was a buildup of multiple traumas, including the rape, she had experienced in her life.

Faber, who was appointed as Seattle’s first “civic technology advocate” by former Mayor Ed Murray after working as a State Department diplomat abroad, told KUOW that she first met Fain in 2007, when she was graduating from a Georgetown master’s program in foreign service. Her parents had come to visit from Washington state, and she wanted to impress them. She scheduled a tour of congressional buildings on Capitol Hill for them, she said, and obtained special passes. There, Faber and her parents stumbled into a reception where they met, as Faber put it, a tall, blue-eyed, conventionally attractive Republican guy.

They all started chatting, Faber said, and he offered Faber his business card.

“I know that I was flirting with him,” Faber said. “And I know that I felt, like, successful in getting his card and proving to my parents that I was going to be good at life.”

Faber came out as a lesbian last year, but in 2007, she was still struggling with her sexuality and wanting to please her conservative parents, she said. She was 24 years old. Fain would have been 26.

After her graduation ceremony, driving to her class’s after-party at a Washington, D.C., bar, her father asked if she had contacted “that nice young man” they met in Congress. Faber said she then texted Fain to invite him to the after-party at the bar.

When Fain showed up, Faber said that he bought her drinks, and they danced and kissed on the dance floor. She said she remembered feeling like she had “made it,” but still felt pressure to resolve her conflicting feelings about her sexuality. She had sought counseling about this from a church program her senior year of college, she said; Fain represented a chance to prove she was “going to be fine.”

But as Fain continued to drink, Faber said, he got loud and obnoxious. She said she was holding him up on the dance floor, which was difficult given their size difference. Faber said she asked him to leave, repeatedly, but he insisted he was too drunk to get to his hotel alone.

“He insisted on basically not leaving unless I walked him,” Faber said.

Faber said she told her friends she would return to the party after dropping him off at his hotel. He had lost his jacket, she said, but they left anyway.

On the way to the hotel, Faber said Fain was “draping his body” over hers, that he was so drunk he had trouble walking. She said she remembered feeling that she needed to “deposit” him in his room so she could get back to her party with her friends.

But Faber said Fain’s demeanor changed once they arrived in his hotel room.

“Suddenly, he wasn’t fucking weak anymore and he had no problem throwing me on the bed and ripping my dress off,” Faber said.

She fixated on the dress, she said, because it was her favorite. “He pulled it down and broke the straps,” she said.

Faber became emotional in speaking about what she said happened next. She said Fain pushed her on the bed and started performing cunnilingus on her while she tried t