Charges have been dropped against adult film star Stormy Daniels stemming from alleged contact with patrons during an Ohio strip club performance.
Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti revealed Thursday that charges brought by the state of Ohio, on behalf of the Columbus Police Department, were dismissed. Avenatti published a copy of the motion to dismiss filings on Twitter and thanked city prosecutor Joseph Gibson for his “professionalism”:
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
A prosecutor’s memo provided by Avenatti says an Ohio law about illegal touching is not enforceable because Daniels has only appeared once at the Columbus club.
The law refers to someone “who regularly appears nude or seminude” at a club.
Daniels was arrested while performing at an Ohio strip club and charged with letting patrons touch her, a violation of a state law. Her attorney said Thursday she was set up in a sting operation.
Messages left for the city attorney’s spokeswoman requesting a response to Avenatti’s allegations were not immediately returned. City attorney spokeswoman Meredith Tucker said in a statement earlier Thursday that they are aware of the charges against Daniels. She says they are “in conversations with the defense counsel” and working to gather “all necessary information” but cannot comment further because of the pending litigation.
The three counts against Daniels are first-degree misdemeanors. Tucker said the maximum penalty for one count would be six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If convicted of all three counts, Daniels could face up to 18 months in jail and $3,000 in fines.
Police said two other women were arrested with Daniels.
Charging documents say Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested for touching a patron at a “sexually oriented” business in violation of the law commonly known as the Community Defense Act.
The charges relate to the law prohibiting dancers from touching customers and customers touching dancers — excluding immediate family members.
Columbus police said Thursday that Daniels’ arrest was part of a long-term human trafficking investigation of illegal activity at city adult clubs. They say they have made numerous arrests under the law regarding illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business but did not immediately provide a number:
Columbus Police Makes 3 Arrests at Adult Entertainment Club
As part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking,
prostitution, & other vice related violations, CPD arrested 3 individuals from Club Sirens at 6190 Cleveland Ave., early this morning, 7/12/18. pic.twitter.com/UJQzJ3iI6c
— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) July 12, 2018
According to charging documents, Daniels, who was semi-nude, allegedly touched some of the patrons’ breasts and allowed them to touch her. She allegedly performed the same act with several officers who approached the stage and forced one officer’s head into her bare chest.
She was released on bail before 6 a.m. Thursday after posting $6,000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.