The sexual misconduct allegations against Senator Al Franken have sparked plenty of discussion about what should happen next with the congressman and how it compares to allegations against GOP candidate Roy Moore. For some, like Franken’s female co-stars and co-workers at Saturday Night Live, they are quick to point out their own personal experiences with Franken and how he’s not a predator in their eyes. But then others have zero tolerance for what he did, noting how it all is part of the same cultural issue and a change is needed.
All of this came before Franken was accused by two more women of inappropriately touching them in two separate incidents in 2007 and 2008. According to a report in HuffPost, two anonymous women shared their alleged encounters with Franken, one alleging that the senator grabbed her butt at a June 2007 event at the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus and the other a similar, but more serious allegation during a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis.
The 2007 incident is similar to the second allegation against Franken in 2010 after he had become a senator. According to HuffPost, the accuser is staying anonymous to avoid harassment online:
“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”
HuffPost spoke to two sources close to the first woman who corroborated her account.
One fellow choir member, Sarah, remembers not only being there for the groping incident but hearing another choir member say that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her chest.
The second accusation follows a similar path, but includes Franken allegedly propositioning the anonymous woman to “go to the bathroom together”:
“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”
Franken responded to the allegations in a statement to HuffPost saying, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.” He also denied the 2008 allegation:
“I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom”
Both women claim they didn’t speak out until now and wouldn’t include their names due to fears it would affect their professional and personal lives to speak out.