COLUMBUS, Ohio - The chief of the Columbus Police Department acknowledged Thursday that “a mistake was made” when officers arrested adult film star Stormy Daniels after a performance at an Ohio strip club.
Police Chief Kim Jacobs said vice officers “believed they had probable cause that state law regulating sexually-oriented businesses was violated” when they arrested Daniels early Thursday on three misdemeanor counts of illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business.
“Nevertheless, a mistake was made, and I accept full responsibility,” Jacobs said.=
Officers arrested Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, after she performed Wednesday night at Sirens Gentleman’s Club in Columbus. Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, told MSNBC that female undercover police officers “asked (Daniels) if they could place their face in between her breasts while she was performing on stage.” Police arrested Daniels after the incident, citing a state law that prohibits anyone who isn't a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude regular dancer at an adult establishment, according to The Associated Press.
Prosecutors dropped the case against Daniels hours later, after determining she was working as a guest at the club and not a regular performer.
“One element of the law was missed in error,” Jacobs said Thursday. “While the presence of vice officers at this establishment is reasonable, the motivations behind the officers' actions will be reviewed internally to ensure that our core values and duty to serve our community to the best of our ability continue to be the basis for our actions.”
Statement from Chief Kim Jacobs in reference to this morning's media release:— Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) July 12, 2018
Vice personnel are responsible for enforcing laws regulating alcohol sales,
after-hours clubs, massage parlors, human trafficking, nuisance properties
among other serious violations of law... pic.twitter.com/7fJFMuQATk
Avenatti claimed Thursday that Daniels was “set up” in a police sting operation. He called his client’s arrest an “absurd use of law enforcement resources.” Two other dancers were also arrested at Sirens on similar charges Thursday.
Daniels claims that she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006, more than a decade before he became president. She is suing Trump and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen reportedly paid her $130,000 after she signed the agreement.
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