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George H.W. Bush accused of groping woman when she was 16 years old

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush waves from the field before Game 5 of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 29, 2017.
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush waves from the field before Game 5 of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 29, 2017. David J. Phillip/Reuters

Former president George H.W. Bush has been accused by a sixth woman of touching her without consent, when she was just 16 years old.

Roslyn Corrigan spoke about the alleged incident with Time magazine, explaining that Bush grabbed her buttocks while she and her mom were posing with him for a picture in 2003. The mother and daughter had met Bush at a CIA office in The Woodlands, Texas.

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“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan said.

“The first thing I did was look at my mom, and while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States?”

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According to the magazine, Corrigan had previously shared her story with close friends and family but hadn’t spoken out publicly.

Corrigan is the sixth woman to come forward since Oct. 24, saying the former leader grabbed them from behind while posing for a photo.

The first was actress Heather Lind, who accused the former leader of touching her from behind and telling her a “dirty joke,” while she was posing for a photo beside him in 2014.

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A spokesman for Bush, Jim McGrath, has addressed the accusations, saying that Bush “has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.”

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McGrath also justified the unwanted touching by saying that Bush sits in a wheelchair, so his arms naturally touch a woman’s buttocks. However, Bush has only been in a wheelchair since 2012, and he is standing in the 2003 photo with Corrigan.

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The accusations against the former president come amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, which has brought to light how common sexual assault is in the film industry. The film producer has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by at least 93 women.

Since then, women around the world have shared their experiences with sexual abuse and harassment using the hashtag #MeToo on social media.

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Recently, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of making sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl while he was in his 30s. Moore has dismissed the allegations as “fake news.”

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Several Republicans have supported Moore, saying the incident happened years ago.

— With previous Global News files