POLITICS
07/12/2018 02:31 pm ET

Stormy Daniels Misdemeanor Charges Dropped After Ohio Strip Club Arrest

The porn actress had been charged with violating a rarely enforced state law.

The three misdemeanor charges brought against porn actress Stormy Daniels after a Wednesday night arrest have been dropped, her attorney Michael Avenatti announced Thursday afternoon.

Daniels, who received $130,000 in 2016 allegedly to keep quiet about an affair with Donald Trump, was arrested during an appearance at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus, Ohio, where she was scheduled to perform Wednesday and Thursday nights. 

According to the Columbus Police Department, she broke a state law by allowing a patron to touch her. 

The Community Defense Act prohibits physical contact between strip club employees and customers unless they are family. Pushed by a conservative Christian group, it was passed in 2007. But the law was rarely enforced over its inaugural decade, The Columbus Dispatch reported last year. 

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein’s motion to dismiss the charges on a technicality was quickly approved by a Franklin County, Ohio, judge. Avenatti shared the court documents on Twitter.

In his motion, Klein pointed out that the law clearly states that it applies only to people “who regularly appear nude or seminude on the premises of a sexually oriented business.” Because Daniels had never appeared at Sirens before, she could not be considered a “regular” nude or seminude performer.

Early Thursday morning, Avenatti had criticized the arrest as “a setup” that was “politically motivated.” 

“It reeks of desperation,” he said on Twitter.

His client is currently suing Trump to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement signed shortly before the 2016 election regarding Daniels’ claim that she had sex with Trump in 2006. The president denies the affair took place. Yet his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has plainly stated that Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Uncertainty still surrounds the question of who may have ultimately reimbursed Cohen, who is currently under FBI investigation.

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