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‘A complete set-up’: Stormy Daniels arrested at Ohio strip club, charges dropped

Stormy Daniels, the porn star who has said she had an affair with US President Donald Trump, was arrested while performing at an Ohio strip, but the charges have been dismissed and her lawyer has called the arrest a politically motivated setup.

Key points:

  • Stormy Daniels allegedly touched the patrons' chest and allowed them to touch her
  • Court records show Daniels posted $8,112 for bail
  • Her lawyer says she will plead not guilty

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was accused of touching three customers who were undercover vice detectives in the early-morning incident, police in the Ohio capital Columbus said in a statement.

Her lawyer Michael Avenatti said the touching was "non-sexual".

External Link: Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio whole performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs. This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges.

An Ohio law, known as the Community Defence Act, prohibits anyone who is not a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.

Daniels, who was semi-nude, allegedly touched some of the patrons' chests and allowed them to touch her, according to charging documents obtained by WSYX -TV.

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 6:00am (local time) — court records show Daniels posted $US6,000 ($8,112).

Charges 'dismissed in their entirety'

Online court records showed that three misdemeanour charges of illegally operating a sexually oriented business related to knowingly touching a patron were dismissed.

"I am pleased to report that the charges against my client @stormydaniels have been dismissed in their entirety," Mr Avenatti said on Twitter, thanking prosecutors for their "professionalism".

Before the charges were dropped, Mr Avenatti said she would plead not guilty to all counts.

"This was a complete set-up," he said.

"It's absurd that law enforcement resources are being spent to conduct a sting operation related to customers touching performers in a strip club in a non-sexual manner."

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

A Columbus police spokeswoman did not 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 Mr Trump has denied.

She is suing Mr Trump and his former long-time personal attorney Michael Cohen, and seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement that she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

AP

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