Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin, 41, has come forward with allegations that Sen. Al Franken sexually harassed her during her tour in Kuwait.
Kemplin, from Mainville, Ohio, claimed that Franken cupped her breast during a photo shoot while he was on a United Services Organizations (USO) tour in 2003.
The USO is meant to entertain troops while they are serving overseas.
Kemplin would be the fifth woman to come forward on allegations of sexual harassment against the Minnesota Democrat, and the second to say the assault happened during his tour with the USO.
“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 during a CNN 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.”
“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed,” she said. “And I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand. It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I’m very confident saying that.”
“I did not process it in those split seconds,” she said.
The grope stopped only after she moved so Franken’s hand was away from her breast. According to Kemplin, the assault last about 5-10 seconds.
A Franken spokesperson told CNN: “As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation.”
“I was in a war zone… You were on a USO tour — are you trying to boost the morale of the troops or are you trying to boost your own?” Kemplin said. “I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture.”
“You’re immediately put on the spot. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Your mind goes a mile a minute,” she continued. “Who was I going to tell?”
Via the Daily Wire: Franken is one of two Democratic lawmakers facing sex charges. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) allegedly sexually harassed staff members and reached a taxpayer-funded settlement with one accuser who said she was fired from his staff for rejecting his sexual advances.
“One of my duties while working for Rep. Conyers was to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources,” said one staffer in a sworn affidavit. “A second staffer alleged in an interview that Conyers used taxpayer resources to fly women to him.”
Congressional Democrats have called for official investigations, which will likely give them cover for weeks or months and permit them to refuse comment on the cases. But some party leaders are reportedly getting antsy about dealing with the issues, especially under the current climate.