A second woman has come forward to accuse Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) of inappropriate touching, this time of groping her butt while serving as a senator.
Lindsay Menz, 33, contacted CNN with her story from 2010. Menz says she was at the state fair with her husband and father. Her father's small business was sponsoring a local radio booth at the fair where she met various celebrities and elected officials and took pictures with them.
Menz recounted how she had a cordial conversation with Franken before they took a picture together. As they posed for the camera, Franken allegedly pulled Menz closer to him and placed his hand "tightly around" her butt cheek.
"[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," Menz said. "It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek."
Menz shared what was going through her mind at the time.
"It wasn't around my waist. It wasn't around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt," Menz said. "I was like, oh my God, what's happening."
Menz said the incident lasted for about three to four seconds.
After the picture was taken, Lindsay went to her husband and told him, "He totally grabbed my butt." Menz's husband Jeremy Menz described the conversation the same way, according to CNN.
Jeremy was the one who took the picture and didn't see Franken grab his wife's behind, but did say the senator pulled his wife close to him.
"He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him," said her husband Jeremy Menz, who didn't see what happened behind his wife. "He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick."
Menz's parents didn't see the incident, but they did say their daughter told them what happened right away.
Jodi brown said she distinctly recalls her son-in-law saying to her: "Our senator just groped my wife right in front of me."
"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."
The photo was posted at the time on Facebook and Menz responded to comment from her sister, Cari Thunker, "Franken…molested me," CNN reported.
In the photo of Menz and Franken, the side of the senator's face is pressed up against Menz's but the lower halves of their bodies are not shown. Both of them are smiling.
Menz posted the photo with Franken on Facebook at the time, on August 27, 2010. Her sister, Cari Thunker, commented under the photo: "Sorry, but you two aren't Bibles (sic) width apart" — a reference, Thunker explained to CNN, to how physically close Menz and Franken were in the photo.
Menz responded to her sister on Facebook: "Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!" (The exchange is visible to Menz's Facebook friends.)
Franken released a statement to CNN on Sunday stating he doesn't remember taking the picture and felt "badly" Menz left feeling 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."
This is the second woman to come forward with allegations of Franken's inappropriate sexual behavior.
Radio broadcaster Leeann Tweeden posted her story on the KABC radio station's website on Thursday, alleging Franken kissed and groped her without consent. The allegations occurred in 2006 when Tweeden and Franken were performing on an USO tour for the troops in the Middle East.
In 2014, Menz and her family moved to Texas and have publicly supported both Democrats and Republicans with her husband favoring Republicans. Menz decided to contact CNN after a friend encouraged her to share her story. Menz agreed only after Tweeden came forward with her story.
"I don't want to paint my story in the same light as hers," Menz said, believing what happened to Tweeden was much worse. "The reason I want to say something is if someone sees that I said something, maybe it would give them the courage to say something too."
Published under: Al Franken