FIRST ON FOX: Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels Jr. — a Democrat seeking to represent the Yellowhammer State’s new 2nd Congressional District — was arrested in the late ’90s during a trip to Florida and later convicted on misdemeanor prostitution charges, according to public records.

Police records of the arrest, obtained by Fox News Digital, differ significantly from Daniels’ recollection of the incident some years later. 

In his 2009 book, “To Sweeten Alabama: A Story of a Young Man Defying the Odds,” Daniels described the arrest of him and a cousin but contradicted the police account. He later pleaded “no contest” to the charge, and paid a $180 fine.

The incident took place on Dec. 30, 1999, as the then 17-year-old Daniels and a cousin were driving in Polk County, Florida, according to a Haines City Police Department report.


Anthony Daniels

Anthony Daniels Jr., a Democrat seeking to represent the Yellowhammer State’s new 2nd Congressional District, is the Alabama House Minority Leader. (Anthony Daniels for Alabama campaign)

The pair drove up to a woman who was posing as a prostitute, according to the police account, and began talking. 

“As she approached the car on the passenger side, the driver then asked her how much for sex. She advised that it’s $20.00 for sex and $10.00 for head. The driver then said he wanted sex and the passenger said that he wanted head,” an officer wrote in the affidavit.

Daniels was later identified by the officer as the driver of the vehicle and his cousin was identified as the passenger.

The cousin at one point began patting the officer’s waistband and “stated that he was looking for a ‘gat,’ referring to a gun,” the officer wrote. After asking the female officer what she had in her front waistband, which was a pair of sunglasses, the two men were approached by police and taken into custody.

Daniels was arrested on the spot, according to the officer’s testimony, and Christian was set free due to a miscommunication between officers. Christian was later picked up by police and arrested also, the officer noted at the time.

Despite the officer’s statement that Daniels had mentioned wanting sex from the undercover officer, the Alabama lawmaker later recalled a different version of events. Daniels wrote in his book that the woman attempted to flag him down multiple times as he traveled to and from the gym during his trip to the Sunshine State.

“She was standing on the opposite side of the street waving both her arms in the air,” Daniels wrote at the time. 

While returning to the gym to retrieve a jacket, Daniels and his cousin saw the woman “waving vigorously” while they were stopped at a red light. Daniels told his cousin about seeing the woman earlier, and they approached the woman to ask her “what she wanted.”


Daniels wrote that he told the undercover officer, who he recalled wearing loose jeans and a collared shirt, the reason he and his cousin stopped was because she had been attempting to flag him down.

“She completely ignored me and initiated a conversation with my cousin,” Daniels wrote. “He said, ‘Let me talk to her for a second. Watch this.'”

Daniels has been a representative in the Alabama state House since 2014 (Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Daniels said in his book that he became “uneasy about [the] woman and the entire situation” and was “overcome by nervousness and discomfort” during the encounter. As his cousin ignored him and continued to joke around with the woman, Daniels wrote that he was “was thinking of ways to lure him away from her.”

“Jokingly, I said, ‘This is an undercover police officer. Look at the shades hanging out of her pockets.’ He asked her, ‘You aren’t an undercover cop are you? Let me see.’ As he was asking the question, he began to grab for the glasses hanging out of her pocket. I could tell that this was definitely beginning to be a bad situation to be in,” Daniels wrote.

“‘I’m about to go!’ I exclaimed. As I started to back up the truck, police cars completely surrounded us,” Daniels wrote in his book. “After the police had me blocked in, I turned to my cousin and shouted, ‘You stupid f—! What did you do to this woman?’ Exploding in laughter he said, ‘I was just joking with her, I was only playing around.'”

Daniels wrote he was later approached by an officer and told to step out of the vehicle with his hands up before being searched and placed into the back of a police car.

Daniels alleged in the book that he overheard officers “mention that my cousin had made a lewd comment by asking, ‘How much is it for some head?’”

“To this day I don’t recall such a comment. I highly doubt my cousin would have seriously asked that, especially since neither one of us had any money,” he wrote.

Daniels did not address in his book the police officers’ assertion that he had said he wanted sex from the undercover cop.

Daniels noted in the book that officers eventually picked up his cousin. They were both taken to a holding cell for two hours and later released.

Following their arrests, Daniels wrote that his mother didn’t believe his side of the story. He also noted in his writing that his parents “decided not to invest in an attorney” after they were allegedly told the charges would be dropped.

“I was innocent!” Daniels wrote.

Daniels and his cousin entered a plea of no contest and were found guilty by the court in the summer of 2000, according to records from the Polk County Clerk of Courts. Both Daniels and his cousin pleaded no contest to charges of misdemeanor “prostitution/lewd: involving the use of a motor vehicle” and each paid a $180 fine. Daniels’ cousin also pleaded no contest to a battery charge.

In a statement to Fox News Digital about the incident, Daniels said: “My recollection of the events from that day are clear. I never solicited sex. I was a teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time and any report that suggests otherwise is false. I’ve spoken about this incident many times over the years – including in my book written 15 years ago – to encourage young people to be mindful of their surroundings and the company they keep because when you don’t the consequences can be far greater than what I experienced.”

Sun shines on Alabama State Capitol

The sun shines on the Alabama State Capitol building on May 14, 2019 in Montgomery, AL. (Elijah Nouvelage for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

He continued, “It’s a shame my opponents are misrepresenting an incident from my childhood in an attempt to score cheap political points. Alabama deserves better.”

“From eliminating the state income tax on overtime pay so working families keep more of their hard earned money to ensuring Mobile got its fair share to recover from the BP oil spill, I’ve always stood up for Alabama,” he added. “These attacks cannot diminish the fact that I am the best prepared candidate to serve this community in Congress.”


Daniels — a former educator who has represented Alabama House District 53 since 2014 — announced last November that he would run to represent Alabama’s newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District seat, which is largely comprised of Black voters.

According to his campaign’s website, Daniels “grew up in Midway, Alabama, and graduated from Bullock County High School before earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Alabama A&M University.”

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