Stormy Daniels was arrested in midst of sting operation
OHIO — Adult film star Stormy Daniels was arrested while performing at an Ohio strip club for violating state law. Her attorney said Thursday she was set up in a sting operation.
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.
However, charging documents said 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 law specifically prohibits dancers from touching customers and customers touching dancers — excluding immediate family members.
While semi-nude Daniels 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.
The three counts against Daniels are first-degree misdemeanors. 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.
She was released on bail before 6 a.m. Thursday. Daniels posted $6,000.
Police said two other women were arrested along with Daniels.
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’ve made numerous arrests under the law regarding illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business, but did not immediately provide a number.
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 she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.