Lawyer: Charges against Stormy Daniels dismissed

By CATHERINE LUCEY and MICHAEL BALSAMO - Associated Press
In this frame from video, porn actress Stormy Daniels is led into jail in Columbus, Ohio., after being taken into custody during a Wednesday evening, July 11, 2018, show. Daniels was arrested at a strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. (WBNS via AP) -
This photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, July 12, 2018, shows porn actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office via AP) -
FILE - In this May 23, 2018 file photo, porn actress Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her receiving a City Proclamation and Key to the City in West Hollywood, Calif. Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. While Daniels was performing at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a “non-sexual” way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press. An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn’t a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File) -

The attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels says prosecutors have dropped all charges against her following her overnight arrest at an Ohio adult club.

Michael Avenatti represents Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He said Thursday afternoon in a tweet he was pleased prosecutors dropped the charges and thanked them for their professionalism.

A prosecutor’s memo provided by Avenatti says an Ohio illegal touching law can’t be enforced because Daniels has only appeared once at the Columbus club.

The law refers to someone “who regularly appears nude or seminude” at a club.

Messages were left with the Columbus city prosecutor’s office seeking comment.

Daniels was arrested accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, and her attorney said she was set up in a string operation.

While Daniels was performing Wednesday night at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a “non-sexual” way, Avenatti told The Associated Press.

He told MSNBC later Thursday that police had prepared a sting operation with multiple officers. He said female undercover officers asked Daniels if they could place their face between her breasts.

“It was an absurd use of law enforcement resources,” Avenatti said.

A message left for the city attorney spokeswoman wasn’t immediately returned.

An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn’t a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

According to charging documents obtained by WSYX-TV in Columbus, 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. Court records show Daniels posted $6,000.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is set for arraignment Friday on three misdemeanor counts of touching a patron at a “sexually oriented” business in violation of an Ohio strip club law.

Avenatti says she will plead not guilty to all counts.

Avenatti posted on Twitter a statement by Daniels that said she apologized to her fans in Columbus, but she would not perform her previously scheduled Thursday night show.

A Columbus police spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment. A person who answered the phone at the strip club declined to comment.

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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Associated Press writers Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati, Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus and Bob Lentz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

In this frame from video, porn actress Stormy Daniels is led into jail in Columbus, Ohio., after being taken into custody during a Wednesday evening, July 11, 2018, show. Daniels was arrested at a strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. (WBNS via AP)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120837480-dca323a4fea44b9b90451aa0649ba619-2.jpgIn this frame from video, porn actress Stormy Daniels is led into jail in Columbus, Ohio., after being taken into custody during a Wednesday evening, July 11, 2018, show. Daniels was arrested at a strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. (WBNS via AP)

This photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, July 12, 2018, shows porn actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120837480-f9fce99cfc1e442b8e9f72a5b3288f37-2.jpgThis photo provided by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, July 12, 2018, shows porn actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels was arrested at a Columbus, Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

FILE – In this May 23, 2018 file photo, porn actress Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her receiving a City Proclamation and Key to the City in West Hollywood, Calif. Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. While Daniels was performing at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a “non-sexual” way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press. An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn’t a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_120837480-6ec019155cb94f878e0c8032ca2297df-2.jpgFILE – In this May 23, 2018 file photo, porn actress Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her receiving a City Proclamation and Key to the City in West Hollywood, Calif. Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, her attorney said early Thursday, July 12. While Daniels was performing at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a “non-sexual” way, her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told The Associated Press. An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn’t a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

By CATHERINE LUCEY and MICHAEL BALSAMO

Associated Press