March 1, 2024

Yesterday, I posted a report from the Florida Center for Government Accountability titled “Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler, husband of Moms For Liberty cofounder, accused of sexual battery by alleged menage a trois lover.”

According to the Florida Center for Government Accountability, “Sources close to the investigation say Ziegler and his wife, Sarasota County School Board Member Bridget Ziegler, who is also an appointee of Gov. Ron DeSantis and cofounder of the right-wing group Moms For Liberty, had a longstanding three-way sexual relationship with the woman prior to the alleged October 2 sexual assault.”

According to a news article in The Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Police obtained a search warrant for Christian Ziegler’s phone, email, and Google Drive. The police affidavit alleges that Ziegler and a woman, who he has known for two decades, initially planned a sexual encounter involving his wife, Bridget, on October 2. However, the woman cancelled the plan upon learning Bridget could not attend. According to the police affidavit, the woman alleges that Ziegler later entered her apartment uninvited and sexually assaulted her. Surveillance footage confirms Ziegler’s presence at the apartment. During an interview with detectives and his attorney, Ziegler claimed the sex was consensual and admitted to recording it, stating he initially deleted the video but later uploaded it to his Google Drive. The police have not found the footage. Bridget Ziegler acknowledged a previous sexual encounter with her husband and the woman over a year ago.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for Ziegler to resign.

Today, the Florida Center for Government Accountability posted a 911 call from the alleged rape victim’s friend, who was concerned about her well-being.

From the report:

The 911 call, made on October 4 at 2:46 p.m., reveals the caller was concerned about the mental health of the woman, who isn’t being identified due to the nature of the investigation.

“I was hoping to do a wellness on a friend of mine,” the caller began. “She hasn’t shown up for work the past two days and I just got off the phone with her and she sounds drunk and I know she has pain medication on her and she told me that she doesn’t think she can do it anymore.” 

The dispatcher then asked questions about the victim’s address, which is redacted by law, before the caller shared that the alleged victim had been struggling with addiction that had “gotten worse and worse the last couple of months,” and she was slurring her words. Then she relayed the information that kicked off a criminal investigation that is ongoing. 

“She won’t answer anyone else at work except for me but she told me she was raped yesterday and that she’s scared to leave her house,” said the caller. “… She’s saying she’s scared that, the person that raped her came to her house, that she’s scared to leave.” 

The caller then told the dispatcher, “I’m worried about her right now.” 

“I have units en route,” said the dispatcher. 

Ziegler’s attorney, Derek Byrd, told The New York Times, “We are confident that once the police investigation is concluded, that no charges will be filed and Mr. Ziegler will be completely exonerated.”