- A second woman has come forward to accuse Democratic Sen. Al Franken of sexual misconduct, this time while in office.
- The woman says Franken groped her as the two posed for a photo in 2010.
A woman has come forward to accuse Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, of groping her buttocks during a 2010 photo op, CNN reported on Monday.
Franken, who had been elected to the Senate two years prior, was attending the Minnesota State Fair when he posed for a photo with Lindsay Menz, now 33, who was there to support her father’s small business.
Menz told CNN that 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.” She said his hand was “wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”
“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said, adding: “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”
Both Menz’s husband and her father told CNN she had described the incident to them the day the photo was taken.
She also posted the photo with Franken to her Facebook page soon afterward in 2010, and her sister, Cari Thunker, commented, “Sorry, but you two aren’t Bibles width apart,” referring to how closely the two were standing to each other in the picture.
To that, Menz replied at the time: “Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!”
Franken responded to the new allegation in a statement to CNN on Sunday in which he said he did not remember the encounter.
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” he wrote. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
On Thursday, a Los Angeles TV and radio host named Leeann Tweeden accused Franken, a former comedian, of forcibly kissing and groping her while the two were on a 2006 tour abroad performing for military service members.
Franken apologized to Tweeden and has since agreed to be investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee, though that incident happened before he was in office.
CNN said Menz reached out with her story on Thursday shortly after Tweeden’s allegations became public.