The woman who accused Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler—husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler—of sexual assault told investigators he showed up at her home after she had canceled plans with him, according to court documents.
As The Daily Beast reported, Sarasota police are investigating Christian Ziegler for allegations he raped a woman inside her home on Oct. 2. A police report was filed two days later.
FLCGA’s news platform, the Florida Trident, cited sources who revealed the woman alleged she was in a “consensual three-way sexual relationship” with the Zieglers for three years.
A search warrant affidavit in the case further details the relationship. The woman told investigators the Zieglers had made plans with her to have sex on Oct. 2, but after Bridget Ziegler was unable to attend she backed out, texting, “Sorry I was mostly in for her,” according to ABC Action Newswhich obtained the affidavit.
When the woman went to leave her apartment a short time later, she walked, Christian Ziegler was right outside in the hallway. “Christian entered the apartment, bent the victim over the bar stool” and raped her, the affidavit alleged.
Weeks later, detectives began to monitor calls and messages sent by Christian Ziegler to the accuser, according to the affidavit.
“Where ru? Wanna meet and chat? Worried about you. You are my friend,” Ziegler allegedly wrote in one message via Instagram, which was set to vanish mode so as to automatically erase the messages.
“Hell no not after what you did to me,” the woman responded. “Do you not understand I am terrified of you?”
Sources also told the Trident that cops executed a search warrant on Ziegler’s cellphone, and that the Republican bigwig is accused of secretly recording his encounters with the woman and his wife.
The accuser allegedly confided in a coworker that she had been raped and was afraid to leave her home.
A 911 call from the woman’s coworker, obtained by the Florida Center for Government Accountability (FLCGA), reveals a request for a welfare check and a heartbreaking window into the aftermath of the alleged abuse.
“She’s saying she’s scared that the person who raped her came to her house, so she’s scared to leave,” the friend told the dispatcher the afternoon of Oct. 4, adding, “I’m worried about her right now.”
News of the accusations has roiled the Sarasota community, where the Zieglers have made a name for themselves in MAGA politics and where observers are calling for the couple to resign from their public positions. Bridget Ziegler is on the Sarasota County School Board and known for championing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Indeed, the Zieglers are allies of DeSantis, who appointed Bridget Ziegler to the tourism board that oversees the Walt Disney Company.
DeSantis, however, told reporters after a Thursday night debate that he believed Christian Ziegler should resign amid the probe: “I’ve known him, I’ve known Bridget, they’ve been friends. But the mission is more important.”
President Donald Trump gave Christian Ziegler a shoutout at last month’s Florida Freedom Summit, declaring, “I want to thank a man who has done a fantastic job, the state party chair, Christian Ziegler, wherever you may be.”
Christian Ziegler hasn’t been charged with any crime. His lawyer, Derek Byrd, said in a statement that his client has been “fully cooperative” with authorities.
“Unfortunately, public figures are often accused of acts that they did not commit whether it be for political purposes or financial gain. I would caution anyone to rush to judgment until the investigation is concluded,” Byrd continued.
Many local activists have shared concern for Ziegler’s accuser while also bristling at the power couple’s hypocrisy.
Paulina Testerman, a co-founder of the nonprofit Support Our Schoolswhich defends public education, told The Daily Beast that she hoped the Zieglers’ hold over the county was coming to close.
“Many of us have stood at the podium of countless school board meetings and listened to Mrs. Ziegler drag the LGBT+ community, so it’s natural to want to celebrate when bullies get what’s coming,” Testerman said.
“But we must remind ourselves that there are many victims in this story. An alleged rape victim is the obvious victim, but our lgbt children & all marginalized children have all been the victim of the Zieglers and their hate machine. “We are hopeful that their reign is over & our community can start healing.”