Illegal touching?

Prosecutors drop charges against Stormy Daniels hours after arrest in Ohio

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is shown in this booking photo released by Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., July 12, 2018. (Courtesy Franklin County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS)

Prosecutors dropped charges against Stormy Daniels on Thursday afternoon, hours after she was arrested and accused of breaking the Community Defense Act, a reportedly seldom-enforced law that bars anyone but a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude dancer. Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, made the announcement that the charges had been dropped in a post on Twitter and included photographs of the signed motion to dismiss the charges.

Daniels, the adult film star who claims she was paid $130,000 to stay silent about a purported affair she had with Donald Trump years before he became president, was arrested at a strip club in Ohio, the middle of Trump country, late Wednesday night. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was performing at a Sirens club and was arrested and charged because, police said, she forced patrons’ faces into her breasts and used her breasts to smack strip club customers in the face. A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department said Daniels illegally touched three undercover police officers and accused the adult film star of fondling the breasts of other performers at Sirens strip club. Daniels was charged overnight with three misdemeanor sex offenses. Video showed her in cuffs being led into a police station.

According to one of the documents Avenatti posted online, the law Daniels had been charged with breaking could not be applied because, as The Associated Press noted, it pertains to a performer “who regularly appears nude or seminude” at a club. Wednesday’s performance was Daniels first appearance at Sirens, a point that Avenatti reportedly had argued successfully.

Avenatti, the lawyer representing Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump and his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, took to Twitter in the overnight hours to lash out against the arrest of his client, which he said is “politically motivated” and “reeks of desperation.” Avenatti, in a series of tweets said the charges against Daniels are “bogus” and he vowed to fight them.

Avenatti said she was arrested for “allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner” He continued, “Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!” According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Frankling County Sheriff’s office has no record of the law, which was introduced in 2007, ever being cited.

Daniels, who has been on a “Make America Horny Again” tour of strip clubs throughout the U.S. was forced to cancel her upcoming show in Columbus. Earlier in the day, she issued a statement through Avenatti apologizing to her fans.

Columbus is part of Franklin County in Ohio, which overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to The New York Times. But Franklin sits smack in the middle of a sea of red on the 2016 Ohio electoral map, one of just a few counties that went blue in Ohio, making it a veritable island in the middle of Trump country.

Daniels is scheduled to appear in court again on Friday, July 13.

Read the full story at WCMH.


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