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Woman accuses Bush Senior of groping

IANS | Washington |

A woman has alleged that former President George H.W. Bush touched her inappropriately when she was a teenager while posing for a photograph.

Roslyn Corrigan, who was 16 years old at the time, told the Time magazine on Monday that she was groped by Bush Senior at a November 2003 meeting of CIA officers in Texas where her father worked.

Corrigan told the magazine the former President “groped her buttocks” as she and her mother, Sari Young, posed for a photograph with him.

“As soon as the picture was being snapped, on the one-two-three he dropped his hands from my waist down to my buttocks and gave it a … squeeze, which would account for the fact that in the photograph my mouth is hanging wide open,” Corrigan told Time, her first public interview about the incident.

“I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what just happened?'”

“My initial reaction was absolute horror,” she said about the incident. “I was really, really confused.” She added: “I was a child.”

She is the sixth woman to accuse the former President of inappropriately touching her in similar circumstances. His spokesman Jim McGrath has previously acknowledged that Bush Senior has touched several women on the rear.

McGrath issued an apology on the former President’s behalf in the wake of the latest allegation.

“George Bush simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he offended during a photo op,” McGrath told CNN.

In statement released last month in response to the previous groping allegations by five women, McGrath said Bush, 93, has used a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm “falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures”.

“To try to put people at ease, the President routinely tells the same joke – and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner,” McGrath previously said. “Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate.”

On November 1, Laura Bush, the wife of George W. Bush, said that the alleged incidents against her father-in-law were innocent.

“I’m just sad that we’ve come to this,” she said. “That was something that was very, very innocent that he’s been accused of. But I know he would feel terrible.”