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Charges dropped for Stormy Daniels after arrest at Ohio strip club  5 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

CINCINNATI — Shortly after they were filed, charges were dismissed against porn actress Stormy Daniels, known for suing President Donald Trump, who was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio strip club.

Daniels was arrested Thursday morning after she was accused of squeezing patrons' and undercover police officers' faces between her bare breasts at Sirens Gentlemen's Club in Columbus. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was scheduled to perform there Wednesday and Thursday. 

Daniels was charged with a little-used 2007 Ohio law, which prohibits strippers from touching patrons – or vice versa – unless they are a relative. But charges were dismissed because she wasn't a regular performer at that establishment – an odd caveat to the law.

"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. 

What led to the charges in the first place? Daniels started performing at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to an affidavit filed in Franklin County Municipal Court. Patrons rushed the stage and started throwing dollar bills at her. Daniels, who was topless and wearing a G-string, reportedly forced patrons’ faces into her breasts and smacked patrons with them, according to the police report.

At that point, three undercover officers approached the stage. Daniels was accused of grabbing a female detective’s head and forcing the officer’s face between her breasts. Daniels reportedly did the same with a male detective as well, the report states.

Then, Daniels was accused of fondling the third officer’s buttocks and breasts. Daniels smacked that female officer’s face with her breasts, according to the affidavit.

A fourth officer, who was not touched, called for assistance to arrest Daniels and two others: Miranda Panda, of Marion, and Brittany Walters, of Pickerington.

Walters, 20, is accused of rubbing her bare breasts on one undercover officer then fondling that officer' breasts, according to the Columbus police report. Panda, 26, reportedly rubbed another server's exposed butt in front of undercover officers, according to the report.

Klein, the city attorney, is reviewing their cases to see if they were regular performers or not. 

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, called the arrest an unnecessary "sting operation" in a tweet. He called the arrest a setup and said Daniels has performed the act at nearly a hundred strip clubs across the country.

Columbus police said Daniels' arrest wasn't a first. 

“Since last fall, Columbus Police were made aware of illegal activity through various adult entertainment clubs throughout the city. Columbus police have made numerous arrests utilizing this law. The Division engages in these operations routinely with no effect on other calls for service," according to a police statement.

Daniels canceled her Thursday night performance in Columbus because of the charges. 

"As a result of what happened last night, I will unfortunately be unable to go forward with tonight's scheduled performance. I deeply apologize to my fans in Columbus," Daniels said in a statement released by her attorney.

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.

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