Ed Brodsky says he’s done investigating Christian Ziegler, won’t investigate accuser

Brodsky ziegler
The State Attorney said he assigned top sex crimes prosecutors to evaluate the case.

State Attorney Ed Brodsky said his office didn’t take a decision whether to charge Christian Ziegler lightly.

His Office announced that prosecutors won’t pursue a video voyeurism charge against the fired Republican Party of Florida Chair. Brodsky confirmed to Florida Politics that his team is not pursuing any other possible charges against the former Sarasota County Commissioner either.

But the matter was carefully deliberated by lawyers.

“The case was decided squarely on its merits,” Brodsky said.

He also brushed off claims from Ziegler’s legal team that Ziegler was a victim of false reporting. Asked if his Office intended to investigate the woman who leveled accusations of a crime against Ziegler, Brodsky said “no.” He noted that his office does not speak for police.

Brodsky holds elected office himself as a Republican, and knew any decision regarding a Republican Party leader in the community would be heavily scrutinized. That’s why he largely handed the case to respected prosecutors working on his team.

“I assigned it to two sex crimes prosecutors so they could make the decision,” he said.

A memo released by Brodsky’s Office was signed by Assistant State Attorneys Ethan Dunn and Kate Metz, who have handled a number of sensitive and high-profile cases in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit. Metz last year handled the successful prosecution of a Sarasota pastor accused of sexually abusing a child. Dunn has handled statutory rape and child porn cases, all matters covered in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune as they unfolded.

The memo was also signed by Brian Chambers, the felony supervisor in Brodksy’s Office.

The prosecutors detailed that the decision on charges ultimately came down to consistency in the accuser’s account. The woman ultimately spoke to police two days after an Oct. 2 sexual encounter with Ziegler and alleged a sexual assault. She described plans made to meet Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler, for sex.

“The Victim recalled being contacted that day by the Defendant to engage in a threesome with the Defendant and his wife,” the memo says. “The victim stated that when she found out the Defendant’s wife would not be attending, she was no longer interested in a sexual encounter with just the Defendant and told him this.”

It also made clear the woman had been drinking and “her ability to recall many details surrounding the sexual encounter and the aftermath.”

But the memo goes on to note that once Christian Ziegler produced a video of the encounter, it contradicted many facts. That led Sarasota Police not to recommend a rape charge and to deem the sexual encounter as “likely consensual.”

Police did, however, recommend a video voyeurism charge, as the woman claimed she had no knowledge the event was filmed. But prosecutors ran into the same issues in consistency, a problem as the only witnesses to the sexual encounter were the woman and Ziegler.

“As an example, she had difficulty in recalling the event and where the incident took place,” Brodsky noted.

The woman told police that Ziegler forced her to have sex in her apartment by a breakfast bar, but the video shows the encounter ultimately occurred in an apartment bedroom.

The memo makes clear it does not believe the woman had dubious incentives in reporting a crime.

“The investigation uncovered no apparent evidence that the Victim in this case had any financial, political, or malicious personal motivation to report this incident and initiate a police investigation into the Defendant,” the memo reads.

It also noted that the woman wasn’t the first to report the incident. Police reports indicate that her sister contacted authorities to report the crime.

In a letter to Sarasota Police, Ziegler’s attorneys claimed that victims’ rights enshrined by Florida’s version of Marsy’s Law should shield his personal information from release, and that a false report had victimized him.

Brodsky dismissed that assertion.

“I’ve only read that he had been seeking some application of Marsy’s Law, but that’s not something we ever considered,” Brodsky said. “I don’t see any application of Marsy’s Law.”

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].


  • My Take

    March 6, 2024 at 6:07 pm

    The Moral Majority
    The Family Values Party

  • KathrynA

    March 6, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    Funny how people who have done nothing or very little like Warren get fired, but those in the GOP don’t even get a “slap on their wrist” when they do evil and corrupt things. Morals only matter for political purposes in the GOP.

  • Outwitted, Underwater & Uninsurable Florida

    March 7, 2024 at 1:38 am

    Rape approved!

Comments are closed.


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