New Charge Added Against Florida GOP Charge Involved in Rape Allegation Probe
Police are broadening their inquiry into allegations against Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler, initially brought to attention in October following an accusation of rape.
Authorities are now examining whether Ziegler engaged in video voyeurism by surreptitiously recording the purported victim during the alleged sexual encounter.
Video voyeurism added to probe of Florida GOP Chair following rape allegation https://t.co/xTw7W5dN71
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 3, 2024
Ziegler stands accused of sexually assaulting a woman with whom he and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, had previously engaged in consensual relations, according to police records.
The documents reveal that the Zieglers and the woman had planned a sexual encounter on the specified day, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Bridget Ziegler was unable to attend.
The accuser claims that Christian Ziegler proceeded to assault her on October 2, with the incident reported to the police two days later.
As of now, Christian Ziegler has not been charged with any crime and asserts his innocence, contending that the encounter was consensual. In a November 2 interview with detectives, Ziegler acknowledged the existence of a video, stating that he initially deleted it but recovered it following the rape allegation.
According to a search warrant dated December 8, Ziegler presented the two-and-a-half-minute video to detectives, maintaining that it depicted a consensual encounter.
The same day, a judge granted access to Ziegler's Instagram account. Ziegler's attorney, Derek Byrd, mentioned that the victim inquired whether Ziegler had shown the video to his wife in a message sent using "vanish mode."
Both the alleged victim, whose identity remains redacted in police records, and Bridget Ziegler have asserted that they were unaware of the video, with neither having seen its contents, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
Video voyeurism, a third-degree felony in Florida, involves recording someone without their consent while they are "dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy."
This act is carried out for purposes such as "amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person," according to the law. As of now, no charges have been filed against Ziegler, as confirmed by the police.