Rape investigation against Christian Ziegler started with 911 call from friend worried about alleged victim
Christian Ziegler failed in his attempt to make Sarasota County a "Second Amendment S

Christian Ziegler
'She told me she was raped yesterday and that she’s scared to leave her house.'

A police investigation into allegations that state GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler raped a Sarasota woman started with a 911 call made by a friend worried about the alleged victim’s suicidal comments.

The Trident, a publication of the Florida Center for Government Accountability, acquired and Friday released a recording of the Oct. 4 call from an unidentified friend, reporting to police that her friend was beyond her help and police were needed.

“She sounds drunk and I know she has pain medication on her and she doesn’t think she can do it anymore,” the unidentified caller says during the 7-minute, 911 call.

The friend tells the dispatcher that she was so concerned about her friend’s mental health that she had looked into having her “Baker-Acted,” which is how loved ones get emergency help for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The woman, who has children, hadn’t shown up for work for two days and won’t answer anyone from work except for her, the woman told the dispatcher.

“She told me she was raped yesterday and that she’s scared to leave her house,” the unidentified friend on the tape tells the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asks for identifying information such as the woman’s address, cell number and car description — all redacted according to state law from the recording the Trident acquired.

The Trident reported Thursday that the alleged victim of the crime was involved in a long-running three-way tryst, involving Ziegler and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, also a prominent figure in the state’s political scene.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Bridget Ziegler to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which replaced the board that had control over the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. She was also part of a group that started Moms for Liberty in 2021. Calling themselves a parental rights group, their mission turned from lobbying against COVID-19 masking restrictions to stopping what they called “indoctrination” in schools involving LGBTQ issues. They had the Governor’s ear in targeting School Board members they thought should be ousted and drafting the Parental Rights in Education Law, which critics dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”

Christian Ziegler’s lawyer has stated he expects his client to be fully exonerated from the charges. But the allegations have prompted both Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried and DeSantis to call for Ziegler to resign from his position leading the state Republican Party.

DeSantis, a candidate for President, was asked by ABC News Thursday whether Ziegler should step down. The Governor did not hesitate in saying yes.

“I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing given the gravity of those situations,” DeSantis said.

___

Florida Politics writer Jacob Ogles contributed to this report.

 

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


11 comments

  • PeterH

    December 1, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    High School Students who have suffered under the DeSantis administration’s campaign of hate and harassment, now have direct evidence on the behavior of the top Florida Republicans who have Party oversight of this alleged Ziegler scheme of deception, abuse and who’s zooming who in the bedroom. Students no longer need to use their imagination!

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!
    Vote all Republicans out of office!

  • Michael K

    December 1, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Like Hair Furor, his maker, Ron “only hires the best.” Losers all. And he wonders why he’s sinking into the dustbin of history.

  • JD

    December 1, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Some FLGOP logic: Remember being Bi is the gateway to gay is the gateway to drag is the gateway to groomer.

    They’re GROOMERS!

  • Joe

    December 1, 2023 at 9:56 pm

    Moms For Liberty and the Florida GOP co-implicated in a sordid LGBTQ threesome and rape charge. Remember, every accusation is a confession for these “conservatives.”.

    The ironing is delicious.

  • My Take

    December 1, 2023 at 11:03 pm

    Amazing. #3 is apparently ‘of age.’
    That’s different.

  • My Take

    December 1, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    GOP rule . . . a Degenerocracy.

  • Ocean Joe

    December 2, 2023 at 5:08 am

    The “friend” will stick to her story, but the victim will under pressure recant everything except the part about being drunk and Mr. Ziegler, a paragon of all that is good and right will slip away scot free.

    Meanwhile, Florida’s GOP is chock full of scumbags waiting to replace him.

    • Ocean Joe

      December 2, 2023 at 5:10 am

      The recanting will go along with a civil case, a confidential settlement and a pile of green to grease the whole mess along.

  • My Take

    December 2, 2023 at 5:47 am

    GOPer assessment
    Trump the rapist = OK
    Źiegler the probable rapist = Not ÒK, makes us look bad.
    Illegal immigrants the assumed rapists = Shoot them all at the border.
    Republicans. No guiding moral valuès at all.

  • wook

    December 2, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    Silver Lining? At least Florida GOP are said to have only raped one person instead of all Floridians?

Comments are closed.


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