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Strip Club Staffers Arrested With Stormy Daniels Sue, Claiming Cops Lied As Republican Retaliation

Police initially said the arrests were part of "a long-term investigation into...human trafficking" and prostitution.

Ingram Publishing/NewscomIngram Publishing/NewscomOhio police spent $768 on strip club tickets, tips, and booze during a July sting that ended in the arrest of Stormy Daniels, the adult star who is suing the president and whose new memoir just reached the New York Times bestseller list. The undercover excursion could wind up costing cops a whole lot more than that.

The charges filed against Daniels and two other women arrested that night, Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters, were quickly dismissed. Now Panda and Walters have sued several Columbus police officers in federal court, arguing that the arrests were politically motivated.

As a result of this alleged conspiracy, Panda and Walters say, they suffered reputational harm and exposure to harassment. Someone painted the word whore across the door of Panda's home, for example, and reporters outed Walters as a stripper to her immediate family. The women are seeking at least $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, plus attorneys' fees.

The arrests took place on July 11 after undercover vice officers, including detectives Mary Praither, Shana Keckley, and Steven Rosser and Lieutenant Whitney Lancaster, spent several hours at Sirens Gentleman Club, where Daniels was making a guest appearance as part of a nationwide tour. That night, Panda was working her second-ever shift as a Sirens cocktail waitress and Walters was working as a dancer.

All three women were arrested for alleged violations of a contentious Columbus law regulating conduct at "sexually oriented businesses." Under the law, anyone who regularly appears nude or semi-nude at such establishments may not touch patrons or other workers.

The morning after the arrests, Columbus police tweeted a statement saying they were made "as part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, along with other vice related violations."

But lawyers for Panda and Walters say the cops went to Sirens that night not as part of some ongoing mission but with a specific and discrete plan to bust Daniels. When asked afterward about the alleged human trafficking and prostitution investigation, police produced one citizen complaint, made more than a month before the arrests, about possible prostitution taking place three and a half miles from Sirens Gentleman's Club, according to the lawsuit.

The night before the arrests, Keckley sent colleagues information about Daniels, her relationship with Trump, and her upcoming performance at Sirens. On the night of the performance, the lawsuit says, "Defendant Officers were drinking alcoholic beverages while on the job, spending a total of one-hundred and twenty-nine dollars ($129) of taxpayer money on such beverages, and six-hundred and thirty-nine dollars ($639) of taxpayer money on tips and cover charges." Here is how Panda's lawyers describe her interaction with the officers:

Ms. Panda, as part of her job as a cocktail waitress, approached Defendant Officers' table when she noticed they had almost empty drinks to ask if they wanted more drinks. Defendant Officers responded they were not interested in ordering more drinks and asked when Ms. Clifford [Daniels' legal name] would be performing.

Defendant Officers then lewdly commented on Ms. Panda's breasts, comparing the respective sizes between Ms. Panda's and one of the female officer's breasts. Ms. Panda was wearing a large bra, which covered all of her nipples and most of her breasts; underwear; leggings; and a high-waisted skirt, which covered her entire mid-section and for much of the night was tucked into the underside of her bra.

At the same time, [Ms. Hall], another cocktail waitress, was servicing a table behind the one Defendant Officers occupied, when she bent over to speak to her customers. She was similarly dressed. At that point, Defendant Officers commented on Ms. Hall's butt, comparing her body to Ms. Panda's by stating, "You [Ms. Panda] have the tits, and she [Ms. Hall] has the ass."

Because of this comment, Ms. Panda jokingly grabbed Ms. Hall's rear end.

Later that evening, the officers went up to the stage where Walters was performing in "a body suit (akin to a woman's one-piece bathing suit) over a pair of regular underwear (not a G-string), and pasties to fully cover her nipples and areola, the same outfit she always wears when performing," according to the lawsuit, which continues:

While Ms. Walters was dancing, several of the Defendant Officers sat in the seats by the stage and began waving money in Ms. Walters' face and reaching out to initiate contact with Ms. Walters. Defendant [Mary] Praither would subsequently allege that during this interaction Ms. Walters bent down from the stage and put her face between Defendant Praither's breasts in an area below Defendant Praither's areole. [sic]

Due to the height of the stage, it would have been physically impossible for Ms. Walters to bend down far enough to put her face between Defendant Praither's breasts in an area below Defendant's areole.

As VIP ticket holders, the officers were also given an opportunity to meet Daniels before her performance. Officer Praither alleged that during this time, Daniels "put both hands on officers [sic] buttocks, both hands on officers [sic] breast, then put her breast in officers [sic] face."

Daniels, Panda, and Walters were arrested, handcuffed, and taken to the Franklin County Correctional Center, where "they were placed in a holding cell, booked, fingerprinted, and photographed." About six hours later, police returned Panda and Walters to Sirens.

The next afternoon, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs put out a statement saying "vice personnel working last night believed they had probable cause that the state law regulating sexually-oriented businesses was violated; however, one element of the law was missed in error." Six days later, the charges were officially dismissed at the request of the prosecutor, who cited lack of probable cause.

Lawyers for Panda and Walters say this was no accident. "The Columbus Police Department Vice Unit enforces a very limited set of laws," they write, and "are intimately aware of all of the elements for the limited set of laws they are charged with enforcing."

The clearest element is that the arrestee was appearing nude or semi-nude, defined as "a state of dress in which opaque clothing covers not more than the genitals, pubic region and nipple of the female breast as well as portions of the body covered by supporting straps or devices." That description did not apply to Panda or Walters. In addition, an arrestee must appear nude or semi-nude at the estbalishment in question on a regular basis. But Daniels was a special guest performer at Sirens, not a regular dancer there, while Panda had just started the night before.

Columbus vice detectives did not have good cause to arrest any of them, the lawsuit argues. Rather, they "initiated a prosecution in order to further their civil conspiracy and retaliate against the political expression and activities" of Daniels, who has been engaged in a legal battle with Trump over disclosure of her alleged 2006 affair with him.

The lawsuit notes that three of the participating vice officers—detectives Praither, Keckley, and Rosser—are registered Republicans. Rosser maintained a Facebook page, under the alias Stevo Shaboykins, that frequently featured pro-Trump messages. Panda and Walters suggest that the officers "determined between themselves in advance" that Daniels would be arrested and charged with a violation of the no-touching law, and that they would arrest two other Sirens staffers in order to hide the political motivation for arresting Daniels.

As further cover, the lawsuit says, Columbus cops "falsely insinuated to the media and the public that Ms. Panda and Ms. Walters had been engaged in prostitution, human trafficking, or vice related violations." Panda and Walters say these arrests, "done with malicious purpose" and "in bad faith," violated Ohio law as well as the Fourth and 14th amendments.

Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Newscom

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  • Just Say'n||

    "over a pair of regular underwear (not a G-string)"

    What are "regular underwear"? There are briefs, boy shorts, bikini bottoms, hipsters, etc. There are literally a thousand different types of panties. And is a G-string the same as a thong?

    Anyways that's all I gathered from the last edition of Conspiracy Report

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I've been doing research into just that question. So far, the results are inconclusive, but my latest grant gives me enough money to hire three more assistant researchers if you'd like to apply.

  • Just Say'n||

    Need to see pics before I can decide

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Wait for my current assistant to post, then click his user name. Goes by SIV around here.

  • Just Say'n||

    Sweet

  • Don't look at me!||

    Dear Penthouse.........

  • lap83||

    Granny panties

  • Liberty Lover||

    Regular underwear = granny panties

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When asked afterward about the alleged human trafficking and prostitution investigation, police produced one citizen complaint, made more than a month before the arrests, about possible prostitution taking place three and a half miles from Sirens Gentleman's Club...

    So they didn't get the address exactly right; took a little extra time, care and effort not to rush the operation; and didn't dot every T and cross every I when checking the legal justification under which they were operating. ALL OF THEIR BLOOD WASN'T IN THEIR BRAINS AT THE TIME; SO SUE THEM.

  • Just Say'n||

    "We got a report of human trafficking at 123 Irving"

    "Isn't that near that strip club"

    *smirks* "Yeah"

    "Let me change into my sweat pants before we leave"

  • ||

    ALL OF THEIR BLOOD WASN'T IN THEIR BRAINS AT THE TIME; SO SUE THEM.

    OK;

    Defendant Officers then lewdly commented on Ms. Panda's breasts, comparing the respective sizes between Ms. Panda's and one of the female officer's breasts.
    ...
    Officer Praither alleged that during this time, Daniels "put both hands on officers [sic] buttocks, both hands on officers [sic] breast, then put her breast in officers [sic] face."

    Was hawt until I started having to picture the lady boner big enough to draw blood away from her brain.

    You've ruined FF strip club stings for me Fist.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Get a load of the prude over here.

  • Hank Phillips||

    A grudge frisk?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Happened on my birthday. Coincidence?

  • Hugh Akston||

    You're sure your mom said you were born on 7/11, not behind 7/11?

  • Longtobefree||

    No.
    Coincidence is there being 24 hours in a day and 24 beers in a case.

  • MSimon||

    Buy 3 cases. Just in case.

  • Eddy||

    "vice personnel working last night believed they had probable cause that the state law regulating sexually-oriented businesses was violated; however, one element of the law was missed in error."

    Or to put it in plain terms, they made some false arrests.

  • Longtobefree||

    The arrests were real, not false, trust me.
    It just turned out that the prosecutors chose not to pursue the charges. Happens all the time.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  • Eddy||

    The top cop said "an element of the law was missed in error," meaning they arrested innocent people.

    But as we all know, ignorance of the law is an excuse. /sarc

    I don't know if it's a Republican conspiracy or not, but the police chief's own words make things sound bad.

  • Eddy||

    You'd think cops would be on the front line against excuse-making and passive-voice-using evasions.

    But maybe that only applies to the "civilian" population.

  • Mongo||

    I scanned more hot Stormy pics from my skin magz circa 2004 in my photo site on Flickr>people>Mongo X

  • Number 2||

    "...and reporters outed Walters as a stripper to her immediate family."

    Outed her? What was she, a closet stripper? Did she strip in disguise?

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    We need more tar, feathers, and rails for those supposed to be protecting and serving.

  • NashTiger||

    MIRANDA PANDA

  • Enemy of the State||

    Can't believe her name wasn't 1st comment posted...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    While sex work should be 100% elgal, putting strippers and gays to the World is 1st amendment free speech.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    *Sigh* It's said that evidence of cops citing the need to "stop human trafficking" as an excuse to go after a Trump critic will probably be the reason Democrats think we need to chill out over human trafficking, but I'll take what I can get.

  • loki||

    Stop human trafficking or humans stopping traffic?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    whose new memoir just reached the New York Times bestseller list.

    I guess these buyers didn't realize you could find similar content in Penthouse Letters.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    I'm trying my damnedest to give a flying f*ck about this, but so far no luck. I'll check back in later.

  • CE||

    "Defendant Officers were drinking alcoholic beverages while on the job, spending a total of one-hundred and twenty-nine dollars ($129) of taxpayer money on such beverages, and six-hundred and thirty-nine dollars ($639) of taxpayer money on tips and cover charges."

    Not a bad job if you can get it. Comes with a pension too.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Taxpayers were abused for an "undercover" operation spending all that $ on drinks and entertainment, plus the compensation. The disappointment here, is police abuse people they don't like this way. She should be supporting an organization that's opposed to this kind of thing.

    While some social conservatives want to lock up strippers, it's progressives that want government power to mold us, and make police procedures that allow this.

    Government shouldn't be involved where people aren't harming others. Then they won't need to go undercover and party on the taxpayer dime.

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  • Hank Phillips||

    Government officials using antiquated Blue laws and Comstock laws for politically-motivated persecution? In OUR democracy? Giddaddaheah!

  • swampwiz||

    The thing about this type of state repression against "moral turpitude" is that very few folks are going to stand up athwart yelling "STOP", nor are they going to go against the NGOs that promote this baloney, such as that when the Super Bowl comes to town, 100K underage prostitutes are going to be trafficked in.

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