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Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation

Eighth Franken accuser comes forward as Dems call for resignation
© Camille Fine

A former Democratic staffer on Wednesday became the eighth woman to accuse Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFormer campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Prosecutor drops some charges against Harvey Weinstein Poll: Dems maintain double-digit leads in Minnesota Senate races MORE (D-Minn.) of sexual misconduct just hours after two dozen of his Senate Democratic colleagues called for his resignation.

Tina Dupuy, a onetime communications director for former Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE (D-Fla.), wrote in The Atlantic that Franken groped her at a 2009 Media Matters party celebrating then-President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDonald Trump Jr. emerges as GOP fundraising force Trump shows peace through strength works after Obama Wake up, Kanye West MORE's inauguration.

"Then I saw Al Franken," Dupuy writes of the party. "I only bug celebrities for pictures when it’ll make my foster mom happy. She loves Franken, so I asked to get a picture with him. We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice."

Dupuy added that the alleged incident happened "quick; he knew exactly what he was doing."

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"It shrunk me," she added. "It’s like I was no longer a person, only ornamental. It said, 'You don’t matter—and I do.' He wanted to cop a feel and he demonstrated he didn’t need my permission."

Democratic senators came out in droves Wednesday in calling for Franken to resign after another accuser told Politico he tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006. Franken intends to hold a press conference to discuss his future on Thursday.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh MORE (N.Y.) was the first Democratic senator to call for his resignation. 

"While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve," Gillibrand said Wednesday in a Facebook post shortly after the Politico report.

 

This article was updated at 7:09 p.m.