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Karen Kraushaar, Herman Cain Accuser, Goes Public With Sexual Harassment Allegations

First Posted: 11/08/2011 4:37 pm Updated: 01/08/2012 4:12 am

A second woman has come forward publicly with allegations that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed her while serving as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, The New York Times reports.

Karen Kraushaar, first identified by iPad-only news outlet The Daily Tuesday morning, told the Times that she was ready to talk now that her name had been made public. Her decision came just minutes before Cain took the stage to address the ongoing story at a press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

From the Times:

Ms. Kraushaar, a spokeswoman at the Treasury Department in Washington D.C., said in an interview with The New York Times that she was upset that her name had leaked into some press reports. But she said that she decided to speak out now that her identity is known.

"When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable," she said. "You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job some place safe and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left."

Kraushaar was one of the two women behind Politico's original report about alleged sexual harassment perpetrated by Cain. She had requested that her lawyer protect her identity while objecting to Cain's claims that he had participated in no wrongdoing while head of the NRA.

Asked about Kraushaar's accusation during his press conference Tuesday, Cain declared that "it was found to be baseless."

On Monday, Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman and former NRA employee, became the first of four women to publicly address sexual harassment allegations. At a press conference, she claimed that Cain had "put his hand on my leg, up my skirt, and towards my genitals," during a meeting in 1997. She recalled that when she protested the advances, Cain said, "You want a job, right?"

On Tuesday, she stood by those contentions.

Cain has continually denied the women's claims. On Tuesday, his campaign sought to undercut Bialek's accusations by pointing out her history of personal and financial troubles.

The Associated Press reports:

Cain's team distributed a document asking, "Who is Sharon Bialek?" and outlining what it called her "long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances." Cain denied her allegations, as he has denied those of three other women, and said he would not withdraw from the race over "baseless attacks."
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Filed by Nick Wing  |