Prosecutors won’t pursue charges against Christian Ziegler
Christian Ziegler. Image via Facebook

Christian Ziegler
An accuser's inability to recall specifics about the event drove the decision, a memo states.

Ousted Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler won’t face criminal charges in a sex scandal.

While Sarasota police forwarded a video voyeurism charge to be brought against Ziegler, prosecutors in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit said they will not do so. Police said Ziegler filmed a sexual encounter with a woman who in October had accused him of rape.

Based partially on that video and inconsistencies with the woman’s account, police did not pursue rape charges and determined the sex was “likely consensual.” But the woman, who said she was intoxicated at the time of the encounter, said she had no knowledge she would be filmed.

Ultimately, concerns about the woman’s account appeared to shape prosecutors’ decision not to pursue any charges.

“The Victim’s expressed inability to recall whether she consented to recording the sexual activity along with her inconsistencies pertaining to key details of the event leave the State unable to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the video in question was filmed without her knowledge or consent,” reads a memo from prosecutors.

Derek Byrd, an attorney for Ziegler, said the decision validated what his client maintained all along.

“Mr. Ziegler is relieved to be completely cleared of the false allegations and any criminal wrongdoing,” a statement from the attorney reads.

“We cooperated at every stage of investigation and as difficult as it was, we remained quiet out of respect for the investigation. On day one, we said that Mr. Ziegler was completely innocent. We asked everyone not to rush to judgement, and reminded everyone to presume Mr. Ziegler innocent — as the Constitution instructs. Unfortunately, many did not award that courtesy to Mr. Ziegler, damaging his family, career, and reputation throughout this process.”

Over the course of the investigation, details about the relationship between Zeigler, the woman and Ziegler’s wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, have proven to be politically devastating. All parties have told police in interviews that they had previously engaged in a three-way sexual encounter.

Over the course of the investigation, court documents show the woman and the Zieglers had planned a three-way sexual encounter the day of the incident. But Christian Ziegler informed her ahead of arriving that Bridget Ziegler would not attend. The woman told him not to come over. “Sorry I was mostly in for her,” she wrote in a digital message.

Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of Moms for Liberty, admitted to police the couple engaged in a three-way sex encounter with the woman more than a year prior. She said she had no plans for an encounter later.

The Republican Party of Florida in January fired Ziegler as state Chair. Bridget Ziegler has faced similar calls to vacate her School Board seat, but has not done so. She also served as a board member on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board, and recently attended a press conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis related to those duties. But she has parted ways with The Leadership InstituteThe Leadership Institute, where she had served as the national director of School Board Leaders Programs.

Republican Party of Sarasota Chair Jack Brill released a statement expressing a desire to put the scandal in the past. Ziegler remains the county party’s State Committeeman.

“The legal process has run its course and the political process has run its course and now we can all move on with the business of electing Republicans without further distractions,” Brill said.

Christian Ziegler Decline Charges by Jacob Ogles on Scribd

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Ron DiSaster

    March 6, 2024 at 12:57 pm

    So much for the “Party of Law & Order”.
    In Flori-duh, you can be a rapist and get away with it as long as you’re friends with the Governor. Wild.

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 11, 2024 at 5:14 pm

      Did Nancy Mace come up with a criminal conviction of her self-proclaimed rapist yet? Or did she at least, in absence of any criminally convicted rapist, stop claiming to have been raped?

      Or is still hollering “shame” at anybody who asks her anything about her bullshit support for a civilly convicted rapist and her bullshit claim that two civil court findings of “rapist” status do not count and therefore Trump’s a totally decent guy?

      Of course in her self-proclaimed status as rape victim, there’s no conviction at all, not civil, not criminal, and yet, Rep Mace loves to claim she was raped when, according to her own rules, she was not raped unless there’s a criminally convict rapist.

      Or Rep Mace and her claims about what is and isn’t rape, is that just more of “rules are for thee, not for me” from today’s GOP?

  • ScienceBLVR

    March 6, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    I’m holding out for the Lifetime movie.. you know someone’s going to sell the story on this one.

  • Paul

    March 6, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Now that Glen Gilzean has landed another patronage position, this time as Orange County Supervisor of Elections, Ziegler wil get the job running the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. He and the lovely wife can hunt for hookups amongst the tourists.

  • rick whitaker's

    March 6, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    ziegler, ziegler, zeigler, florida, florida, florida, gop, gop, gop, pervert, pervert, pervert, keep the chant going

  • Josh Green

    March 6, 2024 at 2:42 pm

    Has his wife started an Only Fans page yet?

Comments are closed.


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