Abby Honold was violently raped in 2014 by another student at the University of Minnesota. Her rapist, Daniel Drill-Mellum, pleaded guilty to raping Honold and another female student last year and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. Honold discovered that her rapist had interned for Sen. Al Franken and so she decided to approach Franken with her story. From the Washington Post:
Franken, moved by Honold’s story, worked with her to draft a Senate bill that would provide federal funding for special law enforcement training on interviewing victims of trauma. He planned to introduce the bill this month.
“He was one of the few people who listened to me and actually let me talk,” Honold told The Washington Post. “It felt really validating to be heard and to see something come of my experience that was positive for other people.”
But when the story broke Thursday about Sen. Franken’s behavior toward Leeann Tweeden, Honold immediately believed Tweeden’s story. She called Franken’s office and asked that he remove his name from the bill. Franken’s staff agreed that was probably a good idea:
“It’s really difficult when someone who has been a champion for you turns out to be the exact opposite for someone else,” Honold said in a phone interview…
When she looked into the allegations, Honold quickly realized Tweeden’s account was “no joke.” She called Franken’s office, and his staff agreed it was a good idea to find someone else to take on the proposed bill, “in light of everything else going on,” Honold said.
Honold is now hoping that Sen. Amy Klouchbar will sponsor the bill in Franken’s place. As for the accusations against Franken, she tells the Post it’s good to see society, “finally agreeing we shouldn’t tolerate people who abuse women.”
Honold told her story on the Dr. Phil show last year: