A fifth woman, U.S. Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin, is accusing Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of sexual misconduct. The alleged incident occurred, she said, while she was deployed overseas in 2003.
Kemplin, 41, told CNN the then-comedian cupped her breast while they were posing together for a photo taken during a USO tour.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Kemplin recalled. "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 continued. “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.”
Kemplin, who was 27 at the time, said the alleged encounter — which lasted between five and 10 seconds — left her feeling “embarrassed.”
While the Army veteran didn't say anything to Franken at the time, she looks back at the photo with the now-senator with sadness and frustration. She told CNN, “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?”
She said she feels “so sorry for that young girl in that picture.”
For Franken's part, a spokesperson for the liberal Democrat issued the following statement:
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.
Kemplin is the fifth woman to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct. Former model Leeann Tweeden, now a radio news anchor, was the first to come forward, claiming Franken groped her chest and forcibly kissed her during a 2006 USO tour.
Following Tweeden's accusations, Minnesota woman Lindsay Menz accused Franken of grabbing her buttocks during a 2010 photo op at the state fair. In addition, two women, who have remained anonymous, told HuffPost that the lawmaker touched their butts inappropriately during separate encounters.