Stormy Daniels files suit against CPD over arrest; seeks $2 million in damages

Published:
Updated:

COLUMBUS – Adult film star Stormy Daniels has filed a federal lawsuit against the Columbus Division of Police, alleging her constitutional rights were violated that officers “entered into a conspiracy” to arrest her based on statements she made about President Donald Trump.

Daniels was already a household name before her arrest in Columbus this past July.

And that’s part of the reason why her attorneys allege she was targeted by police.

Advertisement - Story continues below

This spring, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes” where she claimed that she had an affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and that Trump’s now former-attorney, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 in apparent hush money.

On Monday, Daniels and her attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Columbus Division of Police, alleging that three of the four vice officers who arrested Daniels on July 11 at the Sirens strip club in Columbus – including detectives Shana Keckley, Mary Praither and Steve Rosser were either “registered or known Republicans.”

Her attorneys argue that Daniels’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated because her arrest and that she was the victim of malicious prosecution.

Daniel’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, tweeted this statement Monday: “We look forward to exposing the facts relating to the outrageous conduct of these rogue officers, who abused their power and the badge to further a political vendetta against Stormy. Here in America, unlike in Russia, we don’t arrest citizens for political purposes in an effort to silence them. Each and every individual who had a hand in this bogus arrest, no matter their position power, will be accountable.”

Calls placed to CPD spokeswomen were not immediately returned.

Daniels was arrested along with two other women that night, accused of violating the state’s Community Defense Act, a rarely cited law that prevents exotic dancers and patrons from having physical contact.

The charges against Daniels and other women were later dropped after Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein determined that the officers, acting in their official capacity, could not be “patrons.”

10 Investigates has reported in November that internal documents show the commander of the Columbus Division of Police’s vice unit told internal affairs investigators that there was “no specific” complaint against the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club the night adult film star Stormy Daniels and two other women were arrested.

That August statement by Commander Terry Moore appears to be in direct conflict with what Columbus vice officers initially said were their justifications for entering the strip club in July.

Police records from July 11 show that four vice officers entered Sirens to investigate allegations of “alleged prostitution and drug activity.”

But Commander Terry Moore told internal affairs investigators in late August that the "investigative activity was a carryover from investigations that had occurred at Kahoots Gentlemen's Club and work done by the Ohio Investigative Unit at a strip club named Scores."

Records reviewed by 10 Investigates show of the 41 people cited in the past two years with Ohio’s “no touching” law, which prohibits exotic dancers from having physical contact with patrons, 35 of the 41 people who were cited worked at Kahoots. Investigative files show during that same period, three people were charged with solicitation.

Commander Moore also told investigators while no formal meeting about Sirens occurred, he gave authorization for vice to be at Sirens, but also said: “there was no specific complaint at Sirens being investigated on the date that the arrests" occurred.

Four Columbus Police vice officers are now being sued, accused in a federal lawsuit of using their conservative political leanings to target Daniels, who has said that she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became president.

While a forensic analysis of vice officers’ cell phones showed there were no pre-planned operation to arrest Stormy Daniels, a closer view of one of cell phone records show at least one vice officer searched his/her cell phone the night before Daniel’s arrest to review the Ohio Revised Code for operating a sexually oriented business – the same charge used against Daniels and two other women the next day.

Filed under: