Florida GOP Chair Under Investigation for Sexual Battery


UPDATE: As of Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis has called for Christian Ziegler to resign his post.

SARASOTA, Fla. - Christian Ziegler, the Chair of the Florida Republican Party, is under criminal investigation for sexual battery. A police report with the Sarasota Police Department, almost entirely redacted, provides mere glimpses into allegations that Ziegler committed grave sexual misconduct.

The accusations against Ziegler allege that a woman who'd been involved in a consensual sexual relationship with he and his wife for years, before Ziegler crossed the line into non-consensual. The police report leaves a select few words and phrases unredacted for public view, including multiple instances of "raped", one of "sexually battered", and two of "sexual assault".

The complaint against Ziegler was filed on October 4th, according to The Florida Trident, who broke the story. Their report states that the accuser was in a three-way sexual relationship with Ziegler and his wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, for three years. The incident in question is said to have happened at the accuser's house without Bridget present.

Furthermore, Ziegler is accused of having videotaped sexual encounters secretly and without the accuser's consent. A search warrant was reportedly executed on Ziegler's cell phone, which investigators may believe contains evidence of the alleged misconduct.

Ziegler's lawyer, Derek Byrd, has responded to the accusations saying that his client has cooperated with the police investigation, and claims he will be "completely exonerated". He characterized the accusation as a ploy by the accuser for influence and/or money.

Christian Ziegler has served as Chair of the Florida Republican Party since February. Bridget Ziegler co-founded the conservative nonprofit Moms for Liberty, and serves on the Sarasota County School Board. She also serves on the Central Florida Tourism Ovesight Board, the governing body installed by Governor Ron DeSantis to oversee the area around Walt Disney World's theme parks. DeSantis handpicked Bridget to her seat on the board, and the couple have been close political allies of DeSantis for some time.