Another woman has come forward with an allegation that former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) groped her in 2006 without her consent.
The unnamed woman told New York magazine in an article published Monday that Franken, who resigned in December 2017 after multiple women accused him of misconduct, grabbed her butt at an event in 2006, before he was elected senator. The accuser, identified as a military veteran who now works at a large progressive organization, told the magazine she was just out of college working her first job for Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) when the incident occurred.
“I was working the photo line, and he pulled me in,” the woman said. “Murray said, ‘Let’s take the picture.’ And he puts his hand on my ass. He’s telling the photographer, ‘Take another one. I think I blinked. Take another one.’ And I’m just frozen. It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red.”
Franken, who took office in 2009, resigned amid the anti-sexual violence reckoning spurred by the Me Too movement. He stepped down after several news organizations, including HuffPost, published allegations raised by a total of eight women who accused him of misconduct that included groping and forcible kissing.
The new allegation, from Franken’s ninth accuser, is the fourth to accuse Franken of groping without consent.
“I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable,” the woman said. “It was such a confusing experience.”
The woman said the experience made her question her aspirations to go to law school and run for public office. She explained to New York magazine that she didn’t come forward when the initial accusations against Franken surfaced in 2017 because she feared future employers would hold it against her.
“I have dreams of being a Cabinet secretary for the first female president. I have dreams of running a large organization,” she said. “And I believe that even in the most liberal, progressive organizations in the world, it will still be held against me.”
Franken, who recently began hosting his own show on SiriusXM, didn’t deny the allegation.
“Two years ago, I would have sworn that I’d never done anything to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but it’s clear that I must have been doing something,” he told the magazine. “As I’ve said before, I feel terrible that anyone came away from an interaction with me feeling bad.”
Head over to New York magazine to read the full story.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.