Democratic Sen. Al Franken allegedly groped an army veteran while she was deployed in Kuwait in 2003, Huffington Post reported on Thursday, marking the fifth allegation of its kind leveled against Franken in recent weeks.
Stephanie Kemplin, 41, told CNN that Franken touched her breast while posing with troops for a photograph. She recalled that "when he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over my breast."
Franken, who is Jewish, was a well-known comedian before becoming a senator, best-known for his work as an actor and writer on Saturday Night Live comedy show.
Kemplin claims that she was so mortified by the encounter that except for sharing it with close family members, she neglected to tell fellow soldiers of her experience.
She added that she had been an ardent fan of "Saturday Night Live," so she was uncomfortable confronting him.
At first Kemplin thought the unwanted contact was accidental, but "he never moved his hand," she told CNN. "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. Who was I going to tell?" she recalled her dilemma and discomfort.
A spokesperson for Franken told CNN in a statement that "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."
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