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Tuesday September 18th, 2018 3:43PM

The Latest: Attorney: Charges dropped against Stormy Daniels

By The Associated Press
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of porn actress Stormy Daniels at a strip club in Ohio (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

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.

___

11:45 a.m.

Police in Ohio's capital city say the arrest of porn star Stormy Daniels was part of a long-term human trafficking investigation.

Columbus police say they learned of illegal activity at city adult clubs last fall.

Police said Thursday they've made numerous arrests under a law regarding illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business. They didn't immediately provide the number of arrests.

Michael Avenatti is an attorney representing Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He says he's skeptical of the police account, saying the intent of the undercover officers "did not appear to be to look for victims of human trafficking or prostitutes."

Police say two other women were arrested along with Daniels early Wednesday. They identified them as Miranda Panda of Marion, Ohio, and Brittany Walters of Pickerington in suburban Columbus.

___

10:40 a.m.

Porn star Stormy Daniels was arrested at an Ohio strip club under a 2007 law introduced by a conservative religious group that some say has seldom been enforced.

Charging documents say Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested in a Wednesday performance for touching a patron in "sexually oriented" business in violation of the law 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. The Columbus Dispatch reported last year that the law is seldom enforced. Daniels was charged with three misdemeanor counts under that law.

A spokeswoman for Columbus' city attorney says the maximum penalty for conviction under one count is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

___

10:05 a.m.

A lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels says her arrest at an Ohio strip club was part of a "sting operation" and calls it an "absurd use" of police resources.

Michael Avenatti said Thursday on MSNBC the arrest is "ridiculous."

Charging documents say Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, was arrested Wednesday night for touching a patron at a "sexually oriented" business in violation of an Ohio strip club law. Avenatti said undercover female police officers asked Daniels if they could place their faces between her breasts while she was performing.

The law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude dancer.

Daniels is set to be arraigned Friday. Avenatti says she will plead not guilty.

A message left for a prosecutor wasn't immediately returned.

___

8:30 a.m.

Charging documents obtained by WSYX-TV in Columbus say porn actress Stormy Daniels was semi-nude and allegedly touched some of the patrons' breasts and allowed them to touch her prior to her arrest at a strip club in Ohio.

Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, was arrested during a performance at a strip club Wednesday and has been released on bond. The documents allege she performed the same act with several officers who approached the stage and forced one officer's head into her bare chest.

Daniels is set to be arraigned Friday on three misdemeanor counts of touching a patron at a "sexually oriented" business in violation of an Ohio strip club law.

Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says she will plead not guilty to all counts.

___

8 a.m.

Porn actress Stormy Daniels, who was arrested in Columbus, Ohio, during a performance at a strip club, has been released on bond.

Franklin County Jail officials confirmed she was released around 6 a.m. Thursday. Court records show Daniels posted $6,000.

Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, is set for a Friday arraignment on three misdemeanor counts of touching a patron at a "sexually oriented" business in violation of an Ohio strip club law. The law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says on Twitter that she will plead not guilty to all counts and has said the touching was in a "non-sexual" way.

___

7:45 a.m.

Stormy Daniels says in a statement that, as a result of her arrest at a Columbus, Ohio, strip club, she will not perform Thursday night.

Attorney Michael Avenatti posted Daniels' statement on Twitter early Thursday saying she apologized to her fans in Columbus. She says she is unable to go forward with her previously scheduled performance at Sirens after the events of Wednesday night.

Daniels was arrested and accused of allowing patrons to touch her, which is a violation of state law, at her Wednesday night show. She was released from the Franklin County jail early Thursday.

Avenatti says during Wednesday's performance, some patrons touched Daniels in a "non-sexual" way. He says they will fight all charges, which he called "bogus."

An Ohio law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

___

7:10 a.m.

The lawyer for Stormy Daniels says the porn actress will plead not guilty to charges of allowing patrons to touch her after being arrested at an Ohio strip club.

Michael Avenatti posted on Twitter early Thursday that Daniels will enter the not guilty plea to three misdemeanor charges.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is accused of letting patrons touch her, which is a violation of a state law. She was taken into custody during a Wednesday night show in Columbus, Ohio.

Avenatti says during the performance, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way. He says they will fight all charges, which he called "bogus."

An Ohio law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

___

1:35 a.m.

Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress has been arrested at an Ohio strip club and is accused of letting patrons touch her, which is a violation of a state law.

Michael Avenatti tells The Associated Press on Thursday that Daniels was taken into custody during a show in Columbus, Ohio.

Avenatti says during the performance, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way.

An Ohio law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

Avenatti called the arrest a "complete set up." He says she was arrested inside the club.

A Columbus police spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

A person who answered the phone at Sirens, the strip club where Daniels performed, declined to comment.

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