Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006, was arrested in an Columbus, Ohio, strip club Wednesday night for allegedly touching undercover officers.
Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says it was a setup.
Daniels was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors. While dancing topless at the Siren's Gentleman's Club, police claim “she engaged in touching with customers who turned out to be undercover vice officers,” said Avenatti.
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Why was Stormy Daniels arrested?
In an affidavit, police said that Daniels removed her top, pressed customers' faces between her breasts, fondled the breasts of some female audience members, grabbed an officer's butt and smacked the officer's face with her breasts. In Ohio, it's illegal for a "nude or seminude" employee of an adult business to touch or be touched by a patron, with the exception of a family member. It can be a first- to fourth-degree misdemeanor, depending on what body part is touched.
Avenatti said that Daniels was performing the same act she had done at a hundred clubs around the country. "This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation," he tweeted early Thursday morning. "We will fight all bogus charges."
He added in another tweet: "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"
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— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
On MSNBC Thursday morning, Avenatti said that Stormy Daniels posted $6,000 bail. Her arraignment is scheduled tomorrow but she will not appear personally. Avenatti said he would enter a not-guilty plea on her behalf and that Daniels would likely leave Ohio today.
Daniels says that she had a sexual encounter with Trump during an event at his golf club in 2006. Trump was married to Melania Trump at the time and she had recently given birth to their son, Barron. Stormy Daniels alleges that Donald Trump's personal fixer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 shortly before the election to keep quiet.
Because of that alleged payment, Cohen is under investigation by the New York FBI for campaign-finance violations and bank fraud.
UPDATE: Early Thursday afternoon, charges against Daniels were dropped. Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the case because the state law Daniels was accused of violating specifies that it applies to "employees" who "regularly appear" at sexually oriented businesses. Daniels was a guest performer.
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