Second woman says ex-VP Biden touched her

Second woman says ex-VP Biden touched her

WASHINGTON- Reuters
Second woman says ex-VP Biden touched her

A Connecticut woman said Joe Biden touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her at a 2009 political fundraiser, becoming the second person in three days to accuse the former vice president of unwanted physical contact as he considers a White House run.

"It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head," Amy Lappos, 43, told the Hartford Courant on April 1 of her encounter with Biden at a Greenwich, Connecticut, event. "He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth."

Lappos posted about the alleged incident in a Connecticut Women in Politics Facebook group on April 31 in response to an account by former Nevada state legislator Lucy Flores, who last week accused Biden of kissing her on the back of the head at a 2014 event.

The allegations could endanger a possible 2020 presidential run by Biden, who was vice president under President Barack Obama at the time of both alleged instances. He has been expected to announce a Democratic White House bid in the coming weeks and has been leading the Democratic presidential field in opinion polls.

Asked about the Connecticut allegation, a Biden spokesman pointed to Biden's statement on March 31, when he said he did not believe he ever acted inappropriately during his many years in public life and on the campaign trail.

"I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately," Biden said in the statement. "If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

Biden has long been known for a warm and intimate campaign style, but his propensity for hugging and physical touching has come under new scrutiny in the #MeToo era as awareness about sexual assault and harassment has grown.

biden, MeToo, Vice President