- Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
- Ohio authorities dropped three misdemeanor charges against porn star Stormy Daniels on Thursday.
- She allegedly touched three undercover detectives during a Wednesday show at a Columbus strip club.
- “My office has reviewed the charges filed by the Columbus Division of Police, and I’ve determined that these crimes were not committed, based on the fact that Ms. Clifford has not made regular appearances at this establishment as required under the law,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement.
Ohio authorities dropped three misdemeanor charges against porn star Stormy Daniels on Thursday for allegedly touching three undercover detectives during a Wednesday show at a Columbus strip club.
“My office has reviewed the charges filed by the Columbus Division of Police, and I’ve determined that these crimes were not committed, based on the fact that Ms. Clifford has not made regular appearances at this establishment as required under the law,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement.
“We’ll do the same inquiry for the other defendants involved, as well. My office was not involved in this sting operation, so any additional questions about it must be directed to the Columbus Division of Police. The charges have been dismissed.”
The dropping of the charges was first announced on Twitter by Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti.
I am pleased to report that the charges against my client @stormydaniels have been dismissed in their entirety (below motion was just granted). I want to thank Joe Gibson & his colleagues at the prosecutors ofc for their professionalism starting with our first call early this am. pic.twitter.com/xHPSWsyqM2
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
Court records showed that Daniels faced three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron. The adult-film actress posted more than $6,000 in bail and was released from jail early Thursday morning. Her arraignment was scheduled for Friday.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was expected to plead not guilty.
Booking Photo of Stephanie Clifford who was slated this morning by @ColumbusPolice . She was charged with 3 Counts of ORC 2907.40(c2) M1 ILLEGALLY OPERATING SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS -EMPLOYEE KNOWINGLY TOUCH ANY PATRON. She is no longer in our custody after posting a bond. pic.twitter.com/PcboxGiVwF
— Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (@OHFCSO) July 12, 2018
Columbus police said in a statement that Daniels was arrested with two others as part of a “long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, & other vice related violations.”
Under Ohio law, an employee who regularly appears nude cannot touch patrons within a strip club, unless it’s a family member. Prosecutors cited Daniels’s lack of regular appearance at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club as explanation for why they dropped the charges.
According to an affidavit obtained by WSYX, Daniels was observed removing her top and pressing patrons’ faces into her breasts.
Upon observing that behavior, the undercover agents approached the stage. Daniels allegedly grabbed two detectives’ faces and shoved each person’s face into her breasts, according to court documents.
Avenatti quickly blasted the charges on Twitter.
“She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a nonsexual manner! Are you kidding me?” he wrote. “They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities.”
He called the arrest a “setup” that was “politically motivated” and “reeks of desperation.”
Daniels gained notoriety for her allegation of a 2006 affair with President Donald Trump, a claim that Trump denies. Daniels was paid $130,000 in hush money just prior to the 2016 presidential election by the president’s former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep quiet about her claims.
She is now suing Trump and Cohen in California to break that nondisclosure agreement.