Ohio veteran accuses Senator Al Franken of groping
MAINEVILLE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) —
Another accusation of sexual assault against Minnesota Senator Al Franken this time coming from an Ohio veteran. This comes as the senate ethics panel opens an inquiry into the senator after several women have now come forward with similar allegations.
The latest accusation comes from an Army veteran from Maineville, just north of Cincinnati. Stephanie Kemplin claims Franken groped her during a photo-op in Kuwait. The senator was in Kuwait in 2003 during a USO tour.
“I leaned back and he put his arm around me and his hand went between my arm and my torso and he was holding my breast,” said Kemplin.
She said when it happened it was just seconds but it felt like an eternity.
“When I took the picture, obviously I turned my body so his hand moved,” Kemplin stated. “And I remember getting up and just wanting to get out of there."
The Army veteran said this just added more trauma to a previous sexual assault she had a few months earlier.
“I was being sexually harassed on a daily basis,” she said. “I had just come from being assaulted two months prior and the Army dismissed that.”
So why come forward with these allegations more than a decade later? She said because she’s a mother now and wants to show her daughter that any kind of sexual misconduct is not ok.
“It's not about politics. It's not about being vindictive. I pride myself on my faith,” said Kemplin. "There's no intent. The only reason why I stood up is because it's wrong."
The army veteran said because of that incident with Franken she started a non-profit called “Living Waters Farm.” It helps women and girls who survive human trafficking. The Minnesota senator has not addressed these new allegations.