Hours after police in Columbus, Ohio, arrested porn actress Stormy Daniels early Thursday outside a strip club where she'd just performed, prosecutors threw out the charges. Police had charged Daniels, 39, with three misdemeanors for allegedly slapping three undercover officers at the club with her bare breasts, but prosecutors said the Ohio law in question only prohibits physical contact between customers and strippers who "regularly" perform at a club. Daniels was making her first appearance at the club, Sirens.
"One element of the law was missed in error," Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs explained. "A mistake was made, and I accept full responsibility." Here's what that "mistake" looked like for Daniels, who was "traumatized and rattled" by her arrest, according to her lawyer, Michael Avenatti.
Avenatti alleged on Twitter that arresting Daniels was a "setup" by cops with "very pro-Trump" social media pages. Daniels is most famous now for purportedly having sex with President Trump in 2006 and being paid $130,000 by Trump's lawyer to stay quiet about her allegation. Jacobs said her officers were acting well within their responsibilities when arresting Daniels and two other strippers, but the motivation of the officers will be reviewed internally.
The Columbus Police Department "engages in these operations routinely," said spokesman Sgt. Dean Worthington, without providing numbers. Franklin County court records show 23 similar cases so far in 2018, including the Daniels arrest, plus 14 last year and six in 2016, The Associated Press reports. Each misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Peter Weber