Stormy Daniels lawyer: 'We will vehemently contest all charges'


UPDATE @ 1 P.M.:

INITIAL REPORT:

Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court on Friday on charges that she inappropriately touched undercover police officers during a performance at a Columbus strip club.

Her second night performance at Club Sirens, a strip club on the north side of Columbus, has been canceled, according to a tweet posted on Daniels’ account.

» UNMATCHED COVERAGE: Porn star Stormy Daniels arrested in Columbus: What we know today

» LIVE UPDATES: Porn star Stormy Daniels arrested at Columbus strip club

Her attorney Michael Avenatti said his client will plead not guilty to the three misdemeanor charges. “She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!” Avenatti said on Twitter. “…We will vehemently contest all charges.”

She was released on bail early Thursday.

Stormy Daniels

Columbus Police said in a news release that her arrest was part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution and other vice related violations.

Also arrested were Miranda Panda of Marion and Brittany Walters of Pickerington. All three were charged with illegal sexually oriented activity in a sexually oriented business. Clifford allegedly illegally touched three different undercover vice detectives, Columbus Police said.

» CONTINUED COVERAGE: Status of Stormy Daniels’ Dayton area appearance unclear after Columbus arrest

“Since last fall, Columbus Police were made aware of illegal activity through various adult entertainment clubs throughout the city,” the release said. “Columbus Police have made numerous arrests utilizing this law. The Division engages in these operations routinely with no effect on other calls for service.”

In 2007, Ohio legislators adopted a strict law that prohibits workers who are nude or partially nude in sexually oriented businesses from touching patrons or the clothing of patrons.

The law places restrictions on strip clubs, peep shows and adult bookstores. A coalition of adult entertainment businesses failed to get enough voter signatures to place the law on the statewide ballot for a referendum vote in 2007.

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