A new woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.
Lindsay Menz, a 33-year-old Texas resident, says that Franken grabbed her butt during a photo-op at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. This is the first accusation against Franken that is alleged to have occurred while he was a Senator. Last week, news anchor Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her on a USO tour in 2006.
WATCH THE ORIGINAL ACCUSATIONS AGAINST FRANKEN:
Menz told CNN that she visited the fair with her father and husband, and her father’s small business was sponsoring a local radio booth. She says she spent the day taking photos with elected officials, political candidates, and celebrities as they stopped by the radio booth.
When Franken approached the booth, Menz recognized him immediately and had a short conversation with him. When her husband went to take a picture of Menz and the Senator, she alleges that Franken “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,” she explained.
“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she recalled. “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”
Her husband, Jeremy, remembered Franken getting close to his wife during the photo-op but could not see what was going on behind her waist.
“He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him,” Jeremy Menz said. “He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick.”
When Menz walked away from Franken, she told Jeremy, “he totally grabbed my butt.” Jeremy recalled the conversation the same way.
Franken, similarly to his response to Tweeden’s accusations, said he did not remember the encounter in that way.
“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.”
“I felt gross. It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt,” Lindsay Menz said. “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”
When Menz posted the resulting photo on Facebook, her sister commented jokingly that the two weren’t “Bible width” apart. Menz responded, “Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!”
Franken told CNN Sunday that he did not recall the incident with Menz, but that he felt “badly” if he offended her.