WASHINGTON – Another woman is accusing Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of inappropriate behavior, saying the senator groped her while posing for a picture.
Lindsay Menz, 33, says Franken grabbed her buttocks during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, leaving her feeling “violated” and “embarrassed.”
Menz told CNN she attended the fair with her husband and father because her father’s small business was sponsoring a local radio booth. Menz spent the day at the booth, visiting and taking pictures with politicians and celebrities.
When Franken, a first-term senator at the time, stopped by the booth, Menz’ husband held up her phone for a picture. Menz told CNN Franken then “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 explained, telling CNN the incident lasted three or four seconds. “It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”
Menz’s husband, Jeremy Menz, could not see what was going on behind his wife’s back, but told CNN Franken “pulled her in and pushed his head against her head.” Menz said the incident left her feeling “gross” like she wanted to “wash that off of me.”
Franken issued a statement to CNN saying he didn’t remember taking the picture, but he feels “badly” that Menz felt disrespected.
“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.”
Moments after the photo-op with Franken, Menz shared of an encounter with former Republican Rep. John Kline. As she was preparing to take a picture with the congressman, Menz told CNN that Kline asked whether they should “mutually put our arms around each other.” Menz said the interaction stuck with her as a “stark contrast” to the incident with Franken. CNN reached out to Kline who said “as a matter of practice, I did that all the time.”
Menz’s accusations come after Leeann Tweeden, a news anchor for a morning radio show, came forward last week saying Franken “kissed and groped” her without consent while on a USO Tour Overseas in 2006. The accusations have led some to call for Franken’s resignation. So far the senator shows no signs of intending to relinquish his seat.