Franken has faced growing calls for his resignation since allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior first surfaced last month. Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden accused the congressman of forcibly kissing her and groping her as she slept during a USO tour in 2006.
Franken apologized for the incident.
Seven other women have come forward to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct. Many of the alleged incidents happened before Franken became a senator in 2009, although at least two, including one reported Wednesday, were alleged to have happened after he was sworn in.
Freelance journalist Tina DuPuy wrote Wednesday in an article published by The Atlantic
that Franken groped her as she posed for a photo with him during a Media Matters party in 2009.
“We posed for the shot. He immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh,” she wrote. “I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.”
Another woman, Lindsay Menz, told CNN
last month that she was posing for a photo with Franken at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair when the senator “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, (Franken) put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”
"It wasn't around my waist. It wasn't around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt," she told CNN
. "I was like, ‘Oh my God, what's happening?’"
In a statement to CNN
, Franken said that he felt “badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected,” but he said he didn’t remember taking the photo with her.
The Senate Ethics Committee announced last week that it was opening a preliminary inquiry into the allegations.
A group of female senators, all Democrats, called for Franken's resignation Wednesday, before DuPuy's accusations were published.
“It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women, and he should resign,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire.