A 33-year-old woman from Texas reached out to CNN on Thursday with a story of an uncomfortable moment with Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.). Franken was accused of groping a sleeping actress during a USO tour prior to his time as a U.S. Senator. He has since issued an apology and welcomed an ethics investigation into his conduct as a Senator.
According to Lindsay Menz, she experienced improper conduct first hand.
Menz first wrote of her experience in a post on Twitter.
In August 2010,
@alfranken grabbed me while taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair. I felt violated & embarassed. I 100% believe your account of him & his actions, @LeeannTweeden. Thank you for sharing your story. #metoo.”
Menz alleges that while attending the 2010 Minnesota State Fair, she took a photo with Franken, and he squeezed her behind without her permission. Menz told CNN of Franken’s alleged behavior. “It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”
“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”
Menz’s husband corroborated her story.
“He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him,” Jeremy Menz told CNN. “He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick.”
In a post on Facebook, Menz commented on the photo that Franken was a “creeper.”
“Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!” she wrote to a friend in 2010.
According to Franken, he doesn’t remember taking the photo.
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken told CNN in a statement. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
In the days since the first allegation against Franken came to light, people have wondered if the media would for some reason be kind to a liberal accused of sexual assault. Along with consistent coverage of the scandal on cable news, Franken became the butt of several jokes on his old TV show, “Saturday Night Live.”
“SNL’s” Colin Jost had this to say of the first photo of Franken groping a woman.
“I know this photo was taken before he ran for public office,” Jost said, “but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school.”