Journalist Says Franken Groped Her At A Party In 2009

Lawrence Jackson/AP

Tina Dupuy, a journalist and former Democratic congressional staffer, on Wednesday alleged that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) groped her at a party in 2009.

“It happened at a Media Matters party during the first Obama inauguration,” Dupuy wrote in the Atlantic, referring to an event in February 2009, after Franken was elected to office in a close race.

Dupuy said she “saw Al Franken” and asked to take a picture with him because her foster mother was a fan.

“We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice,” Dupuy said.

Dupuy said Franken’s “familiarity was inappropriate and unwanted.”

“It was also quick; he knew exactly what he was doing,” she said. “He wanted to cop a feel and he demonstrated he didn’t need my permission.”

Dupuy is one of numerous women who have accused Franken of sexual misconduct, both before and after he was elected to the Senate in 2008.

Los Angeles news host Leeann Tweeden in November alleged that Franken forcibly kissed her backstage on a USO tour in 2006, and posted a photograph where Franken was reaching out to grope her. Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her in 2010, and two other women, whose identities were withheld, told HuffPost that Franken groped them in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

A fifth woman, Stephanie Kemplin, alleged that Franken groped her breast when the two took a photo together on a USO tour in 2003. A former Democratic congressional aide on Wednesday alleged that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006, two years before he was elected to the Senate.

Dupuy said she “assumed Franken would step down” later the same day that Tweeden accused him of misconduct, and said Tweeden’s story “rang true” to her.

“I’ve been hoping Franken would just step down and I wouldn’t have to say anything.” she said. “I’ve been hoping I’d not ever have the moniker of ‘Franken accuser.'”

Elected Democratic women in the Senate on Wednesday led a wave of calls for Franken to step down, weeks after Tweeden first made allegations against the senator.

Franken’s office on Wednesday afternoon announced that the senator will make an announcement on Thursday, but did not specify when or what he will discuss.

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