A second woman has made an accusation against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). His first accuser said that while he was still a comedian, Franken forced an intimate kiss on her and later “groped” her while she slept.
Now, the second accuser, 33-year-old Lindsay Menz, says Franken touched her inappropriately in 2010, while he was a senator.
Menz said she was posing for a photo with Franken at the Minnesota State Fair. Menz told CNN that while her husband, Jeremy, prepared to take the photo (see below), Franken “pulled me in really close, like, awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”
“It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek,” Menz said. “It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”
Husband Jeremy agreed that Franken “reached around her and kind of pulled her into him,” but he says he was unable to see the groping. Menz reported the groping to him later, and he subsequently told his mother-in-law about the incident.
“Our senator just groped [Lindsay] right in front of me,” he claims to have said.
On Sunday, Franken responded by saying he didn’t recall the photo with Menz but feels “badly” about how she felt.
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t recall taking this picture,” Franken said. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
CNN reports that Menz posted about the incident on Facebook immediately after it occurred, so it had already been made public. The recent outpouring of stories about sexual abuse–and allegations made against Franken last week–have raised new interest in Menz’s account.
Franken’s first accuser, Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden, said Franken’s attention came during a USO tour in 2006. She said during a kissing rehearsal, Franken had inappropriately put his tongue in her mouth. She also shared a photo of Franken gesturing toward her breasts, as if he was grabbing them, while she was asleep. She said it was evidence that he had groped her.
Franken has apologized for his actions and said the photo was a joke. He also said he could understand why Tweeden felt violated. Senate leaders have called for an ethics investigation against Franken, who has agreed to cooperate fully.
A woman tells CNN that Al Franken grabbed her buttocks while she was taking a photo with the sitting US senator in 2010. Franken says he doesn’t remember the photo and feels “badly” that she felt disrespected. https://t.co/MlOuFCqKai pic.twitter.com/yHTbGR34gC
— CNN (@CNN) November 20, 2017