A woman in Florida has alleged that the state's GOP leader, who is a former county commissioner elected on a "family values" platform, raped her early last month, as per a heavily redacted investigation report filed by Sarasota police, reported the Florida Center for Government Accountability (FLCGA), which first obtained the document.
Christian Ziegler, Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, is facing a criminal investigation following an accusation from a woman who claimed she was involved in a three-way relationship with Ziegler's wife, Bridget Ziegler, claiming that he raped her. A heavily redacted police complaint was filed on October 4, claiming that the rape happened at the woman's Sarasota home.
The terms 'rape' and 'sexual battery' were reportedly left unredacted, as stated by the Trident. The woman reportedly claimed that she, along with both Zieglers, had been in a longstanding, consensual, three-way sexual relationship before the incident, the outlet reported.
According to the report, the alleged assault occurred when Bridget, presumably one of the people involved in the three-way relationship, was not present at the home.
As of now, no criminal charges have been filed in the case. Christian Ziegler's lawyer has refuted the allegations, claiming that the chairman will be "completely exonerated."
The alleged incident, currently under investigation by Sarasota police, is said to have happened when Christian and the unidentified accuser were alone in her home on October 2, as reported by the Trident.
Sources mentioned by the Trident indicated that a search warrant had been carried out on Christian's cell phone, and authorities are in the process of conducting a forensic examination of the device.
Additionally, there are allegations that the GOP heavyweight secretly recorded the sexual encounters between the couple and the woman.
Allegations That Can Damage Careers
Christian Ziegler assumed the role of chairman of the GOP in Florida in February, having previously served as the vice chairman of the state party and as a Sarasota County Commissioner.
His wife, Bridget Ziegler, is recognized as a rising star in the conservative movement, having received personal endorsement from Florida Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis for her school board seat.
Bridget is well-known for her involvement in Mom for Liberty, a group formed in response to Covid-19 school policies perceived as hindering children's development. She played a key role in shaping the framework for the Parental Rights in Education Bill, often referred to as the 'Don't Say Gay' law in the media.
As reported by the Trident, Governor Ron DeSantis has publicly commended Bridget Ziegler in discussions on education.
"Bridget Ziegler, we should have her in every county in Florida. We have to do a better job in these school board races," DeSantis has said.
Currently, Bridget is associated with the Leadership Institute, a conservative organization that conducts workshops and creates curricula to empower the next generation of conservative leaders.
She is in charge of a program that instructs parents on running for school board positions, achieving victory, and subsequently governing.
In a statement posted to X, Moms for Liberty defended Bridget: "Yet another attempt today to ruin the reputation of a strong woman fighting for America."
According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Christian Ziegler's attorney, Derek Byrd, said he is confident that his client "will be completely exonerated."
Byrd added that Ziegler has been "fully cooperative with every request made by the Sarasota Police Department."
"I would caution anyone to rush to judgment until the investigation is concluded. Out of respect for the investigation, this is all Mr. Ziegler or myself can say at this time," he said.