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Prosecutors drop criminal case against porn star Stormy Daniels hours after strip-club arrest

Dan Mangan
Daniels, 39, was arrested after Columbus, Ohio, police said she forced the faces of patrons of the club into her breasts and smacked their faces with her breasts. Daniels has claimed she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006. Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 in hush money shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday dropped all criminal charges against porn star Stormy Daniels , hours after police arrested her for alleged illegal physical contact with patrons at a local strip club during a performance there.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said that after reviewing the charges, "I’ve determined that these crimes were not committed, based on the fact that Ms. Clifford [Daniels' real last name] has not made regular appearances at this establishment as required under the law."

"The charges have been dismissed," said Klein, who also noted that "my office was not involved in this sting operation."

The ultra-fast dismissal came after Daniels' hard-charging lawyer Michael Avenatti accused police of being politically motivated in their arrest of the actress, who claims she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006. The White House has denied her claim.

"This was a complete set up," Avenatti had said after Daniels' bust at the adult hotspot Sirens.

Avenatti posted on Twitter the motion to dismiss the case filed by Klein, which said "the State does not have probable cause to proceed on any of the charges set forth in the complaints."

In a memo supporting their decision, prosecutors wrote that police had charged Daniels with violating a law barring a person "who regularly appears nude or seminude on the premises of a sexually oriented business" from knowingly touching a patron while on the premises of that business.

"In this case, there has been no evidence provided to the State that Defendant appears or has appeared regularly at Sirens," according to that memo.

Avenatti told NBC News on Thursday that Columbus Police Department had “a serious entrapment issue," and that he is exploring possible legal action against the department.

Avenatti said Daniels has told him that multiple undercover officers, both male and female, initiated contact with her and asked her to touch them during her performance.

Daniels, 39, was taken into custody early Thursday morning by Columbus police, who said they had seen her forcing patrons' faces into her breasts during her show, and also smacking them in the face with her breasts. Cops said she did the same thing to several undercover vice officers, two of whom were women.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was freed several hours after her arrest after posting $6,000 bail.

She canceled a second peformance that had been scheduled for Thursday night in Columbus.