Christian Ziegler testifies about sex videos with multiple partners on his phone

Christian-and-Bridget-Ziegler-Photo-Facebook
The ousted GOP leader and wife Bridget are fighting the further release of embarrassing details.

Ousted Republican Party of Florida Chair Christian Ziegler acknowledged in court he kept numerous videos of sexual partners besides his wife.

The revelation come during a hearing on a now-closed investigation as the former politician as he and wife Bridget, a Sarasota County School Board member, seek to keep further details of their sex life private. The couple has sued the Sarasota Police Department and 12th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office to stop the further release of his personal data

Sarasota Police have copies of much of the videos Christian Ziegler references as part of some 30,000 videos downloaded from Ziegler’s iPhone last year. Authorities obtained the entire contents after serving a search warrant connected to an investigation whether Ziegler raped a woman or filmed a sexual encounter without permission.

Ziegler was never arrested, with police ultimately concluding that sex with the Sarasota woman leveling the accusation was “likely consensual” and prosecutors ultimately determining they lacked evidence to pursue a video voyeurism charge. Communications from the phone confirmed multiple encounters between Ziegler and the woman dating back years, including threesomes with Bridget.

Ziegler testified on the topic in a May 16 hearing in Sarasota, sitting through questioning from attorneys for media outlets and from the agencies has has sued.

Just fighting the publishing of video has already put Ziegler in the position of discussing the case in open court. Morgan Bentley, a lawyer fighting for the release of further information from the phone, questioned Christian Ziegler about what may still be out of view.

“Are there other videos or photographs on your phone that depict other sexual activity with other people other than Mrs. Ziegler?” Bentley asked Christian Ziegler.

“I believe so,” he replied, with Bridget Ziegler in the courtroom yards away.

He also said any people depicted in those videos were “willing participants” both in the sexual acts and with being filmed.

While attorneys for Ziegler objected to the line of questioning, Bentley argued the matter was at the heart of the case, and that the Zieglers effectively conceded the existence of further embarrassing materials just in bringing forward a lawsuit against police.

Ziegler attorney Matt Sorelson argued a judge should evaluate case not as a question of public records but of the Zieglers’ constitutional right to privacy. He brought up other high-profile cases in Florida’s past involving Patriots CEO Robert Kraft, late radio pundit Rush Limbaugh and porn star Kathy Willets, all of whom had evidence in cases shielded from public view.

The Zieglers sued the Sarasota Police and State Attorney’s Office over the release of evidence in the case to date, which has proven politically costly to both couples. Christian Ziegler was ousted earlier this year as state char of the Republican Party of Florida. Bridget Ziegler remains on the School Board but cut professional ties with the Leadership Institute.

At one point, Christian Ziegler claimed Marsy’s Law should protect his identify being released because he was the victim of a false rape accusation. But police and prosecutors both say that does not apply, and have never attributed false motives to the woman who alleged the crimes.

In the case, Ziegler said he volunteered to provide a 1-minute-44-second video of him and the accuser engaged in a sexual encounter last October, the one that prompted her reporting the matter to police. But police still pursued the full contents of Ziegler’s phone because they needed data beyond what had been offered.

That video, which showed the short sexual encounter, included her asking Ziegler when he was going to climax, and led to police determining the encounter was not forced.

Judge Hunter Carroll from the bench voiced some concern why, after a video seeming to absolve Christian Ziegler of race, police did not go back to the judge who issued the search warrant for the phone and update him on the development. But police said the video alone did not warrant closing the investigation.

Det. Angela Cox said police continued to investigate, though, whether Ziegler had reason to believe she was not competent at that time to offer consent. Communications indicated that the two scheduled a threesome with the Zieglers, but that the woman asked Christian not to show up when she learned Bridget would not be there.

Sarasota Police Sgt. Charlie Riffe also discussed meeting with Christian Ziegler about obtaining complete data from the video off of the cloud when complete data was not available on the phone, something that required a second search warrant.

The details of the investigation already made public have revealed that the Zieglers and the woman had a past threesome, something Bridget Ziegler admitted to police.

Michael Barfield, with the Florida Center for Government Accountability, questioned both Ziegler and Cox on the stand, and continuously pressed for details on the investigation and case. He alluded at one point to a text sent by Bridget Ziegler to a friend in London the day the encounter between Ziegler and the woman took place, though a Judge ultimately shot down the details of this being aired in open court.

Of note, the Center during the hearing published a report on its media site, the Florida Trident, which included parts of a report by Cox not yet publicly released. That detailed conversations between Bridget and Christian about him hunting for women in local bars to bring home, with one text from Bridget telling her husband, “Don’t come home until your dick is wet.”

Notably, legal authorities and public records advocates agreed in court that the entire contents of Christian Ziegler’s phone need not be publicly released. Attorneys for the police and prosecutors even said they do not believe the release of all that data would serve a public service, and could have far-reaching legal consequences beyond the case.

Carroll repeatedly suggested that the ramifications of this high-profile case could set precedent that affects other proceedings. He signaled the weight of the case required him to consider arguments thoroughly, and while he hopes to make a decision in an expedited fashion, that doesn’t mean to expect a decision in the next week.

Sarasota Police said Christian Ziegler’s phone, which has a terabyte of available storage space, was the largest data download from a device ever conducted by the agency. It included some 30,000 videos and 250,000 photographs, most of that irrelevant to the case.

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].


29 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 16, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    If the videos are to be released, please scrub all of Mr Ziegler’s skin surfaces from them first.

  • Cindy

    May 16, 2024 at 2:29 pm

    What’s permission these day’s. I never would give hey I am a hot tub with multiple people
    Plus it’s always you are a victim and nothing I can do about it laws people( most of the time)

  • the devil

    May 16, 2024 at 2:53 pm

    damn, 30K sex videos – i’m honestly very impressed

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 17, 2024 at 11:42 am

      Nah, it’s just 30k videos of unspecified content and duration

      They should release all the videos that are 2 minutes or shorter

  • the devil

    May 16, 2024 at 2:59 pm

    honestly its time to close the case its disgusting how this attorney is probing for more sex tapes… its pure lawfare – just drop it already

    • Joe

      May 29, 2024 at 4:30 pm

      “Lawfare” = the latest buzzword for Foxbrained RepubliQan tools who can’t think for themselves

  • the devil

    May 16, 2024 at 3:53 pm

    you know, there is something called “revenge porn” and “defamation” and I think it would be wise for these public agencies to not release further compromising information that would needlessly damage this couples public figure, IMHO

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 20, 2024 at 3:42 pm

      They should hand the videos over to House Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia in some sort of official, defensible action. So she can release them like she did with the Hunter Biden videos

  • Eating Raoul

    May 16, 2024 at 3:55 pm

    Maybe MGT will post the vids in The House like she did to Hunter Biden

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 20, 2024 at 3:42 pm

      Oops i just totally plagiarized you. Sorry about that!

  • rick whitaker

    May 16, 2024 at 4:47 pm

    THE DEVIL, no, we need ALL the ammo we can get against the evil maga cult, sex tapes, recordings, emails, anything to punish or expose these evil maga cult people. our country is ours to lose.

    • Impeach Biden

      May 16, 2024 at 9:06 pm

      Who cares except Tennessee hillbillies with nothing else better to do with their lives. Ziegler is done politically. This accomplishes nothing. How about some Hunter Biden or Bill Clinton porn then?

      • rick whitaker

        May 16, 2024 at 10:19 pm

        HOWLER MONKEY, i mention all those things because people do care. people hear about maga cult hypocrites and they think about that. the more they hear it the more they think about it. i care about getting more floridians to vote dem. you mentioned hunter and clinton, they are not in florida running for office or anything. your what-about-ism is so childish. i guess that’s what howler monkey’s do.

        • Impeach Biden

          May 17, 2024 at 10:28 am

          How about we bring up the sexual exploits of Rebekah Jones? She is a Demo that ran for Congress but lost. She is also bat shot crazy, just like you Dick.

          • rick whitaker

            May 17, 2024 at 3:31 pm

            HOWLER MONKEY, she lost, so what’s your point.

      • MH/Duuuval

        May 16, 2024 at 11:04 pm

        It’s now known as the Full Lewinsky when you go after someone’s entire sexual life. Newt opened the door.

        • just sayin

          May 17, 2024 at 10:52 am

          “Somebody did something reprehensible thirty years ago. We should keep doing it.”

          • rick whitaker

            May 17, 2024 at 3:40 pm

            JUST SAYIN, he said newt opened the door. that means that now all gop candidates will use that tool to beat dems over the head with. so, dems are forced to use the same lame tactics, or get beat. that tactic is more of a gop thing than a dem thing. remember how quick the dem sen. from min. was removed by his own party.

  • Richard D

    May 16, 2024 at 5:05 pm

    The Republican party seems have a special attraction for weirdos and perverts. There’s even a name for the GOP: the “Grand Old Perverts”, based on the variety of sex scandals involving Republicans.

  • My Take

    May 16, 2024 at 6:02 pm

    30,000 videos !!

    Let’s see some AI analyses !

  • tom palmer

    May 17, 2024 at 10:34 am

    Interesting that the lawyer for the Republican claims a right to privacy even though in other cases the GOP claims no such right exists and used that claim to overturn Roe

  • Margaret

    May 17, 2024 at 5:27 pm

    The rot at the heart of the Republican Party, especially in Florida, with Matt Gaetz, Trump, and this scum, former head of the Party in Florida, should reveal to voters who claim to be moral, law-abiding, “Christians,” that the Party is founded on gross distortions of “Truth.”
    No one who values decency, honesty, and adherence to Law should be voting for anybody who carries the moniker, “Republican.”

    • rick whitaker

      May 20, 2024 at 4:51 pm

      MARGARET , are you still hanging on to hope the gop party will change? the gop is the party of greed, of course is is going to cannibalize its own self. if you are greedy, you are NEVER satisfied, hence the grievance bull.

  • KathrynA

    May 20, 2024 at 9:24 am

    I totally agree with Margaret and it’s so relevant as they were an ingrained part of the GOP, who constantly harps on morals and book bans and so much more. Maybe Ziegler is washed up, but bet he’s still using influence in the back rooms of the GOP, but his wife was just involved in this often used scheme of looking for a threesome, continues to sit on the Sarasota School Board with a smirk on her face and still trying to get rid of all things woke. The county needs to recall her or DeSantis remove her. This is beyond sickening for her to have this position and to use it to control schools when her life is the exact opposite.

  • the devil

    May 21, 2024 at 7:06 pm

    Mrs, Ziegler is a strong person who continues her duty to the public, stands by her husband, and clearly is a great wife bc she entertains his apparently strong sex drive. very high moral values if you ask me.

    as for the democrat women complaining – it is no surprise to me – democrat women are in fact responsible for the decline of the human race via abortion and clear lack of sex

    have more babies. have more sex.

    RIGHT PETE?

    • The devil

      May 21, 2024 at 8:12 pm

      Not to mention, that pubescent sex change sh×t they got going that benefits not one single person in the human race besides the plastic surgery industry. Complete decline of humanity

      • The devil

        May 21, 2024 at 8:15 pm

        Plus Mrs. Zeigler looks great btw she’s a SUPER HOTTIE
        BIG UP TO THE Z MAN ON A MAJOR SCORE FOR WIFEY

        Keep going !

    • Joe

      May 29, 2024 at 4:32 pm

      No surprise here, “the devil” gets his info straight from Fox News like the rest of the RepubliQans.

Comments are closed.


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