Senator Al Franken has a new accuser, a 41-year-old woman named Stephanie Kemplin. Hailing from Maineville, Ohio, Kemplin has become woman No. 5 to allege that Franken groped her inappropriately, although not all of the five women who have accused Franken of inappropriate behavior have gone public. As reported by the Inquisitr, Leeann Tweeden was the first person to make her accusations against Franken public when she penned a viral essay, titled “Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It.” Franken then received a backlash for his initial apology and got support from Arianna Huffington when photos of Al and Arianna surfaced.
However, Kemplin is alleging that the things Franken did to her during a USO tour were not okay. Stephanie is an Army veteran who is claiming that Franken touched her breast in December 2003. According to CNN, Stephanie said that the interaction with Franken occurred when she was deployed in Kuwait. Al and Stephanie were taking a photo when the Minnesota Democrat allegedly placed his hand on her breast. Kemplin claimed that she met Franken while in the Middle East at the time of the Iraq War.
Franken was entertaining troops from the U.S. during the USO tour. Stephanie said she got in line to grab a photo with the Saturday Night Live comedian but wasn’t prepared for what she said happened next, with Kemplin claiming that Franken cupped her breast.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast. 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. 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.”
Stephanie said Franken allegedly left his hand on her breast for such a long time that Al should have known what he was doing if it was an accident and should have removed his hand from her breast. Eventually, he took his hand off of her breast prior to the photo being snapped. Stephanie was a 27-year-old woman at the time and a military police officer.
The Star Tribune reports that Franken’s new accuser felt numb and frozen after the alleged incident. Looking back, Stephanie said that she feels sympathy for her younger self, as pictured in the photo. Kemplin broke into tears in phone call interviews with CNN, though she admits she did not say anything about the incident to Franken at the time because she was immediately put on the spot with his alleged behavior. An ex-boyfriend corroborated with Stephanie’s story, saying that she told her ex-beau that Franken “went to put his arm around her and copped a feel.”
Along with Stephanie, Lindsay Menz of Frisco, Texas, accused Franken of also groping her when Al allegedly grabbed her butt as the duo took a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.