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Second woman accuses Sen. Franken of sexual harassment

CNN says this photo is from the Facebook account of former Minnesotan Lindsay Menz of her and Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken. After a radio host on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, accused Franken of 2006 sexual harassment, Menz came forth with her own claim that Franken grabbed her buttucks when this picture was taken during the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.

ST. PAUL—A former Minnesota woman says U.S. Sen. Al Franken grabbed her buttocks while her husband was taking their photo at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.

Lindsay Menz‏, who now lives in Texas, said on Twitter: "In August 2010, @alfranken grabbed me while taking a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair. I felt violated & embarrassed."

Tweeting to radio host Leeann Tweeden, she added: "I 100% believe your account of him & his actions, ... Thank you for sharing your story."

Tweeten said on Thursday, Nov. 16, that he forced a kiss on her during a 2006 USO tour, and she posted online a photograph showing Franken's hands above her breasts as she slept on a military airplane during the same trip.

Menz was the second woman to come forward with claims that the Minnesota Democrat sexually harassed them. The Tweeden incident occurred before Franken was senator, but the State Fair allegation was a year after he took office.

Franken apologized to Tweeden Thursday and CNN reported on Monday that he said he did not remember the fair incident.

"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."

Indeed, Franken's booth often has the longest lines of any political booth at the fair, most people wanting to get a picture with him.

Menz said her photo with the senator came at a radio station booth, which her father's business helped sponsor.

"He totally grabbed my butt," she said.

Her husband, Jeremy, was taking a picture of the two, but said he could not see behind his wife.

"I felt gross," Lindsay Menz told CNN. "It'd be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt. You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me."

While she told family members about the incident, and posted about it on her Facebook site, which has restricted access, she did not say anything in public until she went to CNN.

She said a friend encouraged her to talk to CNN.

Menz said she hopes that telling about her experience will give others "the courage to say something, too."

Menz' Twitter account says she lived in Minneapolis. Now, she lives in Texas. Since Tweeden make her story public last week, some people have called for Franken to resign. He has not indicated he plans to do that, but his office says he will remain out of the public with his family at least through Thanksgiving. He said last week that he supports a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into the Tweeden allegations.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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