George H.W. Bush has been accused of groping a 16-year-old girl

In 2003, Roslyn Corrigan was 16 and an aspiring politician. She felt excited to be meeting former president George H.W. Bush at an event at the Central Intelligence Agency office in Woodlands, Texas. But the meeting took an unpleasant turn when Bush, then 79, allegedly groped Corrigan’s buttocks while she stood next to him for a photo.

Corrigan is the sixth woman to accuse Bush of public groping. Actress Heather Lind was the first to level accusations against the former president on October 25th, when she  wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post detailing how Bush grabbed her while they posed for a photo during the premiere of a historical TV show in 2013. Actress Jordana Grolnick, author Christina Baker Kline, former Maine Senator Amanda Staples, and former journalist Liz Allen have also made accusations against Bush.

Unlike Bush’s other accusers, Corrigan was underage at the time.

"I don't know, maybe it never really hit people that I was a child at the time, and that goes beyond a guy being inappropriate in the workplace to a peer or somebody in his age range," Corrigan told Time. "I was a child."

Bush’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, dismissed Corrigan’s allegations. “George Bush does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone harm or distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he may have offended during a photo op,” McGrath said in a statement.

The former president and his team have continually minimized the seriousness of these allegations. In his apology to Lind, McGrath claimed that the gropings were merely part of a joke, and partially blamed Bush’s lower position from sitting in a wheelchair. Bush was not wheelchair-bound when he met Corrigan, however.

While Bush has issued apologies to these women, his statements downplay the accusers’ pain as “offense,” and he failed to take real responsibility for his actions. We ask that he and others like him sincerely acknowledge what they’ve done wrong. Until then and after, we stand by the accusers and hope that they get the justice they deserve.

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