Tags: franken | woman | accused | inappropriate touching

Franken Accused by 2nd Woman of Inappropriate Touching — After His Election

Franken Accused by 2nd Woman of Inappropriate Touching — After His Election
(Reuters)

Monday, 20 November 2017 10:56 AM

Democrat Al Franken faces a second allegation of touching a woman inappropriately, this time while he was a U.S. senator.

Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Franken groped her buttocks while the two took a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 in his home state. Franken joined the U.S. Senate in 2009.

"I felt gross. It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt," Menz told CNN. "You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me."

Franken said in a statement to CNN that he didn’t recall taking the picture, but regretted that Menz had a negative memory of the incident.

"I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture," Franken said. "I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected."

Both parties are grappling with how to calibrate their responses to such allegations at a time when sexual harassment and assault are drawing a heightened level of attention from the public.

In Alabama, accounts from several women about the Republican Senate candidate there pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s have brought denunciations from national Republican Party figures and calls for him to withdraw from the race. Some Republican Senate leaders also said they would explore taking steps to expel Moore if he wins the Dec. 12 special election.

Menz’s accusation comes less than a week after Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor for KABC in Los Angeles, said Franken forcibly kissed her and then posed for a photograph appearing to grope her while she was asleep as they were on a U.S. military-sponsored entertainment tour to the Middle East in 2006.

Franken said he didn’t remember forcibly kissing Tweeden, but apologized for a photo that showed him touching her breasts through a flak jacket while she was sleeping. Democrats condemned his conduct and Franken said he would cooperate with an ethics committee investigation.

Franken has so far rebuffed calls from some liberal activists and Democrats in his home state to resign from the Senate. Among his colleagues in the chamber, Republicans as well as Democrats have mostly stopped short of demanding Franken’s ouster.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week said the matter should be reviewed by ethics committee, as did Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.

Some lawmakers have questioned how much authority the ethics committee has over actions committed before a member joined the Senate. The latest allegations may raise the stakes in that investigation.

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Democrat Al Franken faces a second allegation of touching a woman inappropriately, this time while he was a U.S. senator. Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Franken groped her buttocks while the two took a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 in his home state.
franken, woman, accused, inappropriate touching
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2017-56-20
Monday, 20 November 2017 10:56 AM
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