Porn actress Stormy Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club and accused of letting patrons touch her in violation of a state law, and 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.
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, was 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 said that a not guilty plea to all counts would be entered on his client’s behalf on Thursday, so she wouldn’t have to make a court appearance Friday.
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.
By CATHERINE LUCEY and MICHAEL BALSAMO
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