Charges against Stormy Daniels dropped after Ohio strip club arrest

"Stormy Daniels," whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, early Thursday morning, July 12, 2018. (Franklin County (OH) Jail booking photo)
Stormy Daniels Arrested in Ohio Strip Club 6:30
Stormy Daniels Arrested 6am
Stormy Daniels Arrested
Stormy Daniels arrested in Ohio Strip Club

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prosecutors in Ohio dropped charges against porn actress Stormy Daniels Thursday.

Police arrested Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at a Columbus strip club overnight, after she let patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said Thursday morning. While Daniels was performing Wednesday night at Sirens, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press.

The police report tells a different story, though. According to WBNS, our sister station in Columbus, officers in the club said they witnessed Daniels touching multiple patrons in a sexual way, and then did the same to officers when they approached the stage.

An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer, nor can the dancer touch anyone else.

Daniels was charged with three misdemeanors under that law.

Avenatti later added Daniels would plead "not guilty" to three misdemeanor charges.

Lawmakers in Ohio passed the Community Defense Act in 2007. The Columbus Dispatch reported in 2017 that in its first ten years on the books, no arrests had been made under the law.

Daniels' attorney told WBNS in a phone interview he believes the charges are politically motivated.

"There's no question these officers were undercover at that strip club. They knew my client would be performing there and I find this to be a complete waste of resources to steak out a strip club," Avenatti said.

Daniels has said she had sex with President Donald Trump in 2006, when he was married, which Trump has denied. She's suing Trump and his former longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement that she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

Authorities later said Daniels' arrest was part of a long-running human trafficking probe. Police learned of illegal activity at adult clubs in the city last fall.

Avenatti announced on Twitter around 12:45 p.m. Thursday that the charges against Daniels had been dropped.

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