Stormy Daniels, the stripper who has accused President Donald Trump of having an affair with her years ago and then trying to cover it up, has been arrested in Ohio, her lawyer revealed on Twitter, alleging a political “setup.”
Court records show that Daniels was accused in Franklin County court of three counts of “illegally operating sexually oriented business – employee knowingly touch any patron.” You can read the arrest affidavit below; the people Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is accused of touching were undercover police officers.
However, 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.
Attorney Michael Avenatti made the claim in the early morning hours of July 12, 2018. “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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Arrest Documents Accuse Daniels of Fondling an Officer & Holding Officers’ Faces Between Her Breasts
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.”
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.”
Here are more documents:
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.”
Here are Avenatti’s tweets:
This all unfolded in the very early morning hours of January 12, 2018.
2. Sirens Gentleman’s Club Advertised Daniels’ Performances & a ‘Meet & Greet’
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.
“STORMY DANIELS AT SIRENS. FIRST AND ONLY COLUMBUS APPEARANCE! JULY 11TH AND 12TH FOR 2 SHOWS EACH NIGHT. SIRENS, 6190 CLEVELAND AVE, COLUMBUS, OH 43231,” the establishment also wrote on Facebook.
3. Avenatti Alleged That Any Touching Was ‘Non-Sexual’ & Criticized the Police Operation
Avenatti stressed that any touching was non-sexual. He “says during the performance, some patrons touched her in a ‘non-sexual’ way,” AP reported.
“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. A search of the sheriff’s inmate database did not show her name in the minutes after Avenatti’s tweets (Clifford or Daniels.)
4. Ohio Law Prevents People From Touching Strippers While They’re Performing
It’s not legal to touch a performing stripper in Ohio if you’re not related to them.
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.
5. Daniels Features Into Allegations That Trump & His Lawyer Michael Cohen Tried to Hide the Affair
Daniels is embroiled in the accusations that Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen helped arrange hush money to silence her about an alleged affair with the president years ago. Trump denies having an affair with Stormy Daniels. Daniels has since sued Trump alleging defamation and seeking to void a non-disclosure agreement. The payment to Daniels is reportedly under investigation as an offshoot that started with Robert Mueller’s probe into the president.