Franken groped breast during USO photo op, another woman says

Franken groped breast during USO photo op, another woman says

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Sen. Al Franken, D-MN, has faced calls to resign amid sexual misconduct claims. (Source: CNN) Sen. Al Franken, D-MN, has faced calls to resign amid sexual misconduct claims. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - An Army veteran said Sen. Al Franken touched her breast during a photo shoot in 2003 during a U.S.O. tour.

Stephanie Kemplin was serving overseas during the Iraq War when she met Franken, then a comedian providing entertainment for troops in wartime, CNN reported.

"When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast," Kemplin said in an interview. "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."

She was a fan of Franken's work on "Saturday Night Live," but said the photo encounter left her feeling embarrassed.

Kemplin said the touch lasted long enough for her to suspect it wasn't accidental.

The first allegation emerged a couple of weeks ago when Leeann Tweeden, an actress and radio broadcaster, alleged Franken forcibly kissed her and touched her inappropriately during a U.S.O. tour in 2006. At the time, Franken was still working as a comedian and had not yet run for senate.

Tweeden, who is now a Los Angeles radio anchor, released a photo of Franken smiling with his hands reaching for her breasts as she slept. 

Three other women have come forward to accuse Franken for grabbing their rear ends while posing for pictures between 2007 and 2010.

Franken, who was elected to the Senate in 2008, apologized Monday in a brief public appearance before reporters as he returned to work in the Senate.

He said he was sorry to "everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women" and said he would cooperate with an ethics investigation into his behavior.

The most recent allegation against Franken comes after fellow Minnesotan Garrison Keillor defended Franken in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post on Nov. 28. The next day, Keillor himself was fired from Minnesota Public Radio following allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Sexual harassment complaints are also swirling around Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, who is facing calls to resign amid allegations from former staffers.

Copyright 2017 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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