Nov 30, 2017

5th Franken accuser says he groped her in 2003

Photo: Lawrence Jackson / AP

Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin, now 41, told CNN that Sen. Al Fanken (D-Minn.) cupped her breast during a photo op in Kuwait in 2003. Kemplin is the fifth woman to accuse Franken of inappropriate sexual behavior in two weeks.

Why it matters: Franken is currently being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee. Earlier this week, he held a press conference to apologize for his disrespectful behavior, adding that he is embarrassed and ashamed of his actions. However, he maintained that he has no plans to resign in the wake of the allegations.

The latest accusation: Kemplin said she met Franken, then a comedian, while being stationed in the Middle East. As a fan of "Saturday Night Live," Kemplin said she got in line to take a photo with him.

"When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast. I've never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side ... I remember clenching up and ... thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand ... It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I'm very confident saying that."

A Franken spokesman told CNN Wednesday night: "As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation."

Other accusers:

  • Leann Tweeden accused Franken of unwanted kissing and groping during a 2006 USO tour in the Middle East.
  • Lindsay Menz alleged Franken groped her butt while taking a photo with him at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
  • Two unnamed women told the Huffington Post separately that Franken grabbed their butts. One said he groped her during a photo after an event in Minneapolis, and the other said he cupped her butt at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser before suggesting the two visit the bathroom together.
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