Five Ohio police officers are reportedly facing discipline from their department for their involvement in the arrest of porn star Stormy Daniels and two other women at a Columbus strip club a year ago.
What are the details?
Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — was arrested along with fellow strippers Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters on July 11, 2018, on misdemeanor sex offenses for allegedly inappropriately touching undercover cops posing as patrons at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club. Daniels’ attorney at the time, Michael Avenatti,
called his client’s arrest “a setup and politically motivated.”
Two days later, the charges against all three performers were dropped, and an internal investigation was launched by the department focused on allegations that officers might have been retaliating against Daniels over her post-election claims that she had an extramarital affair with President Donald Trump in 2006.
The investigation involved 19 interviews, a review of more than 30 hours of video, and more than 11,000 emails. It found that the officers involved improperly arrested the women, but that the arrests were not planned or politically motivated.
The officers involved were members of a now-disbanded VICE unit. The CPD did not name the officers facing discipline, but did disclose in a statement that they include two of the arresting officers, a commander, a lieutenant, and a sergeant, according to
ABC News reported that the officers could face “a range of disciplinary options including a reprimand, suspension, demotion or termination.”
The CPD has already settled lawsuits brought by Panda and Walters. Daniels has a pending lawsuit against the department, and her attorneys say they are ready to go to trial — seeking millions in damages over the arrest.
Stormy Daniels became a household name after going public with her claims of having a sexual relationship with the president. ABC News noted that the porn star’s 2018 “strip club appearance in Columbus was part of a nationwide tour marketed off the affair.”
President Trump has denied having a sexual relationship with the adult film star.