On Tuesday, the Scioto Valley Guardian reported that two former Columbus police officers for the vice unit have been arrested on a number of federal charges.
Ex-Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster are the same officers who allegedly conspired to frame porn star Stormy Daniels, who became a national name after suing to get out of a nondisclosure agreement negotiated by President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen to bury the story of Trump's sexual affair with her.
"Both men were fired in 2019 after an internal investigation said they set-up famed adult actress and best selling author Stormy Daniels," wrote Derek Myers. "She was accused of touching undercover cops, against state law while on tour in Columbus. Her July 2018 arrest was dismissed 12 hours after she was booked. She later sued and settled for more than $400,000." The entire vice unit was ultimately disbanded amid the scandal.
The new allegations are unrelated to the Daniels incident, but instead stem from a public corruption investigation into their conduct around strip clubs and hotels.
"According to the indictment, in March 2015, Rosser was involved in a physical fight with an individual at Nick’s Cabaret, a gentleman’s club on East Dublin Granville Road," wrote Myers. "Rosser allegedly represented that he was acting in the course and scope of his employment as a police officer during the fight and in the days that followed. The indictment alleges that Rosser conspired with others to deprive the other participant in that fight of his civil rights by having him seized and searched without probable cause, in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
"The indictment also alleges that in April 2018, Rosser, Lancaster, and others conspired to deprive one of the owner of the Dollhouse, a gentleman’s club on Karl Court, of his civil rights by seizing and searching him and his vehicle without probable cause, again in violation of the Fourth Amendment," continued Myers. "Finally, the indictment alleges that both defendants conspired to commit wire fraud by routinely reporting false and fraudulent special duty hours," by reporting special duty to a Fort Myers hotel that suffered sprinkler damage at the same time they were working their standard hours for the Columbus Police Department.
“The FBI and the Southern Ohio Public Corruption Task Force are committed to rooting out public corruption and working to ensure that those who abuse their law enforcement privileges are held accountable,” said FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman in a statement. “We will continue to work with our partners to protect the citizens of this community and uphold their Constitutional rights.”
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