There are departmental charges against five police officers involved in the 2018 arrest of Stormy Daniels and two other performers at an Ohio strip club. Columbus Division of Police Chief Tom Quinlan announced the development on Wednesday.
The cops involved were described as a commander, lieutenant, a sergeant, and two arresting officers. They violated the department’s rules of conduct, said Quinlan. Possible punishments range from reprimands to outright termination, he said. A hearing is scheduled with each officer. Quinlan would then make a recommendation to the Director of Public Safety, who will make a final decision on the case.
Quinlan said he couldn’t elaborate more than that, citing ongoing litigation and a “federal criminal investigation.”
Daniels was arrested after a performance at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club, but the case was dropped. Prosecutors determined that the prevailing law–against nude and seminude performers who touch customers–didn’t pertain to Daniels because she was a guest, not a regular.
Daniels sued over the arrest in January. According the complaint, the officers involved were “avowed supporters of President Trump.” Daniels’ then-attorney Michael Avenatti said that it looked like the criminal case against his client was politically motivated. A whistleblower gave emails to The Fayette Advocate last year saying that the officers were only there because Daniels was there.
Stormy Daniels famously sued President Donald Trump over a 2016 non-disclosure agreement. The adult film actress said she had an affair with the president. The president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has since pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violations. He is serving a 3-year prison sentence.
Daniels and Avenatti have since split under acrimonious circumstances. After Avenatti was indicted on federal charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty, Daniels said, “Knowing what I know now about Michael Avenatti, I am saddened but not shocked by news reports that he has been criminally charged today.” Avenatti has repeatedly denied the allegation that he forged Daniels‘ signature to “steal” a portion of her book deal advance.
[Image via Tara Ziemba/Getty Images]
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