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Rape victim wants Al Franken's sponsorship dropped from her bill

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., on Capitol. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Al Franken (D-Minn) helped Abby Honold, a University of Minnesota rape survivor, champion a Senate bill that would provide federal funding for law enforcement training on how to better interview victims of trauma.

Franken was set to introduce the bill later this month, but after learning that a journalist said he had forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, Honold called Franken's office and asked for someone else to take on the bill, per the Washington Post. Honold told the Post that she could no longer be associated with someone accused of this kind of behavior.

Key quote: "It's really difficult when someone who has been a champion for you turns out to be the exact opposite for someone else," Honold said in a phone interview.

Franken's history of supporting women's rights: The senator has previously pushed for legislation that would support victims of sexual and domestic violence.

  • Franken initially got involved in Honold's bill after learning that her convicted rapist was a former intern for him. Prior to meeting Honold, Franken told the Star Tribune that, "Abby has shown tremendous courage in coming forward ... Her efforts have shed light on problems in how the system handles sexual assault cases."
  • In 2009, Franken proposed an amendment to a bill that barred "defense contractors who forced employees to mandatory binding arbitration in the case of rape, assault, wrongful imprisonment, harassment, and discrimination."
  • In 2012, defended the Violence Against Women Act on the Senate Floor.
  • Last month, he publicly condemned Harvey Weinstein and gave any Weinstein campaign dollars to the Minnesota Indian Women's resource center.