Shana Keckley, a Columbus, Ohio police vice detective involved in the arrest of Stormy Daniels at a strip club, is allegedly named in “whistleblower” emails obtained by The Fayette Advocate newspaper.
In an exclusive story by interim editor-in-chief Derek Myers, The Advocate alleged that the emails the newspaper obtained showed Daniels’ arrest “may have been pre-planned days before she ever arrived in town.” The arrest of Stormy – the porn star who has accused President Donald Trump of having an affair with her and then trying to pay her hush money – made national headlines but crumbled immediately because prosecutors said it didn’t meet critical elements needed under the law.
News of Daniels’ July 11, 2018 arrest broke early in the morning of July 12, 2018 when her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, unleashed a series of tweets accusing Columbus police of political bias.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Advocate Claims Many of the ‘Whistleblower’ Emails Come From Keckley’s Account
According to the Advocate exclusive, the emails are between “several high-ranking Columbus police detectives and VICE officers,” but the “bulk” of them are from Shana Keckley’s account.
“Inside the emails are news clippings discussing Daniels’ planned appearance in Columbus, pictures of Daniels with President Donald Trump, videos of her dancing, and even a map to the club where she would be performing, all sent days before she would pull into town on her tour bus,” reported The Advocate.
The newspaper alleges that Keckley wrote another officer after Stormy’s arrest, “You’re Welcome!!!!!….Thank me in person later.”
You can read the newspaper’s full story here.
2. Keckley Has Worked as a Community Liaison Officer
The Columbus Division of Police has touted Shana Keckley on social media before.
“Community Liaison Officer Shana Keckley LOVES her job & has FUN brightening the day’s of others. #1dayCPD — in Columbus, Ohio,” the police wrote with one picture of Keckley with children at a community event. The police also wrote with more photos, “Community Liaison Officer Shana Keckley LOVES what she does and ENJOYS brightening people’s day!”
Police previously praised Keckley for rescuing a dog, writing on Twitter, “OFFICER SHANA KECKLEY TO THE RESCUE: Officer Keckley rescued this dog w/the help of block watch members, 14 precinct. Luckily the dog is ok!”
The Advocate says Keckley now works in Vice and Road control and is married to a man named Shane Keckley. She comes up as registered to vote in Delaware County, Ohio, but no political party is listed in the record in the official Ohio site. VoterRecords.com lists her affiliated with the Republican Party.
3. Keckley Accused Daniels of Putting Her Breasts in Her Face & Officer Mary Praither Alleged Daniels Groped Her
There were other officers involved in the sting. Officer Mary Praither, an undercover Columbus police officer, alleged in court records that Daniels groped her in the Ohio strip club. Praither said in her report that Daniels grabbed her breasts and buttocks while performing Wednesday night at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing President Donald Trump in an effort to invalidate a “hush agreement” she signed about an alleged affair she had with the president in 2006.
Praither was one of three officers who said they were touched by Daniels while they were undercover at the club during her performance.
Three other officers were also involved in the undercover operation, Detective Shana Keckley, who said Daniels put her breasts in her face, Detective Whitney Lancaster, who said Daniels forced his face into her breasts and Detective Steven Rosser, who said he watched the “criminal activity” and called for backup to have officers respond to arrest Stormy Daniels. Two other dancers, Brittany Walters and Miranda Panda, were also arrested, the Columbus Police Department says.
10TV reports that undercover officers in the club “said they witnessed Daniels using her bare breasts to smack patrons. The officers also said they observed Daniels fondling the breasts of female patrons.”
Officers approached the stage, at which time they allege “Daniels held the face of the female officer between her breasts. It also says she did the same to a male officer. The report goes on to say Daniels fondled the buttocks and breasts of another officer.”
Keckley was identified as the female officer who police say had her head held between Daniels’ breasts.
An arrest document signed by Mary S. Praither on July 12, 2018 alleges that, on July 11, 2018 “an employee on the premise of a sexually oriented business who appeared at the time of offense nude or semi nude, to wit: topless and wearing a G-string did knowingly touch a patron in a specified anatomical area, to wit: Officer Mary Praither #1990. Did put both hands on officers buttocks, both hands on officers breast, then put her breast in officers face. Who is not a member of the employees immediate family.”
Court records show that Daniels was accused in Franklin County courts of three counts of “illegally operating sexually oriented business – employee knowingly touch any patron.” According to Ohio voter registration records, Mary Susan Praither is a registered Republican.
4. The City Attorney Dismissed the Charges Against Stormy & the Police Chief Called the Arrest a ‘Mistake’
Stormy Daniels – whose real name is Stephanie Clifford – was initially charged with three misdemeanor charges of violating a law that prohibits strip club employees and regular performers from touching patrons. The charges were dismissed the next day, with Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein saying in a statement: “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.”
The police chief released a statement saying a “mistake” was made.
The rarely used and controversial Ohio law, which was put in place in 2007 as the Community Defense Act, states, “No employee who regularly appears nude or seminude on the premises of a sexually oriented business, while on the premises of that sexually oriented business and while nude or seminude, shall knowingly touch a patron who is not a member of the employee’s immediate family or another employee who is not a member of the employee’s immediate family.”
5. Stormy’s Lawyer Accuses the Police of Being ‘Politically Motivated’
Attorney Michael Avenatti alleged there was a political overlay to the operation from the start. “Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio whole performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs,” Avenatti wrote. “This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges. #Basta.”
You can read the arrest report here:
Avenatti followed that tweet up with another, offering more details. “She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!! #SetUp #Basta.”
Avenatti then wrote, “We expect her to be released on bail shortly. We also expect that she will be charged with a misdemeanor for allowing “touching.” We will vehemently contest all charges. #Basta.”
“This was a complete set up,” Avenatti told The Associated Press. “It’s absurd that law enforcement resources are being spent to conduct a sting operation related to customers touching performers in a strip club in a non-sexual manner.”
Columbus is located in Franklin County, Ohio.
Daniels was reportedly performing at Sirens Gentleman’s Club in Columbus, Ohio. Her real name is Stephanie Clifford. “We Are Now Doing Pre-Sale Admissions For Our July 11th & 12th Event With The One & Only Stormy Daniels! Please Stop By The Club In Person Or Call Us…For More Information. Regular Admission Or VIP Access Available Including A Special ‘Meet & Greet’ Session! #stormy,” the establishment wrote on Twitter before the arrest.
The bar advertised Daniels’ appearances on Facebook, writing, “APPEARING WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY NIGHTS!” along with a large glamour shot of Story Daniels. People put jokes on the comment thread before the arrest news broke. “I’m going dressed as trump,” wrote one man.
In Ohio, non-family members are not allowed to “to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer,” Charlotte Observer reports.
That law is known as the “Community Defense Act.” According to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, it was enacted in 2007 and this may be the first time it’s been used in Franklin County.
Columbus police said Daniels’ arrest was part of a “long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, & other vice related violations.”
TMZ reported that “up until 2017, there were a total of 21 arrests. In 2018, Stormy is the 23rd stripper to be arrested under the law.” Two other strippers were also arrested along with Daniels.