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Al Franken Hit With an Anonymous Accusation

Her story was contained inside a larger NYMag story
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2019 11:48 AM CDT
This Sept. 20, 2017 file photo, shows then Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(Newser) – This week's New York Magazine cover story looks at women and men who went public with their stories of sexual assault and harassment—and what happened next. For one woman, the "next" never happened. Explaining that "not everyone speaks out," the piece introduces a woman who alleges she too was groped by Al Franken but chose not to come out against the then-senator in 2017 when eight other women did. She says the violation happened in 2006 when, newly out of college and working for Sen. Patty Murray, Franken pulled her into the photo line at an event. She alleges he put his hand on her buttocks and repeatedly told the photographer to take another photo. "And I’m just frozen. It’s so violating. And then he gives me a little squeeze on my buttock, and I am bright red."

"I don’t say anything at the time, but I felt deeply, deeply uncomfortable. It was such a confusing experience." And she says it's one that shook her confidence in a way that had lasting results: She had big dreams at the time, but "as I look back on my career, I am always in deputy roles and support roles." She says she started crying when news of the accusations against Franken broke but even now she chooses not to share her name because she has big dreams once again: "of being a Cabinet secretary for the first female president ... of running a large organization." And she can't be sure that her speaking up wouldn't be held against her during a future vetting process. "The idea that I would not get a job and would always wonder, Was it the article where I was the one who was raising my hand against a powerful man?" (Read the full story here.)

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