Stormy Daniels mug shot

Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP

Lawyer Says Charges Dropped Against Stormy Daniels Following Arrest At Ohio Strip Club

July 12, 2018 - 1:00 pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Charges have been dismissed against porn actress Stormy Daniels after she was arrested at an Ohio strip club and accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said Thursday.

While Daniels was performing Wednesday night at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press. 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.

A prosecutor's memo provided by Avenatti says an Ohio illegal touching law can't be enforced because Daniels has only appeared once at the Columbus club.

The law refers to someone "who regularly appears nude or seminude'' at a club.

Avenatti said Thursday afternoon in a tweet he was pleased prosecutors dropped the charges and thanked them for their professionalism.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was expected to face a misdemeanor charge, Avenatti said. She was released on bail before 6 a.m. Thursday.

"This was a complete set up," Avenatti said earlier. "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."

Avenatti posted on Twitter on Thursday morning that Daniels will plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges.

He also posted Daniels' statement on Twitter early Thursday saying she apologized to her fans in Columbus, but she would not perform her previously scheduled Thursday night show.

A Columbus police spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment. A person who answered the phone at the strip club declined to comment.

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.

Associated Press writers Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati and Bob Lentz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.