Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler Rape Allegation: Everything We Know

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Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler Rape Allegation: Everything We Know

Newly released court records have shed more light on the rape allegations against Christian Ziegler, the head of the Florida Republican Party and husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder, Bridget Ziegler.

It was previously reported across numerous outlets that Ziegler had been accused of raping an unnamed woman in early October, per a search warrant affidavit filed in court. No charges have yet been filed against the politician, who has denied the allegations via a statement from his attorney.

The initial police report circulated to various news outlets was heavily redacted, but court documents obtained Saturday by the likes of Florida station, WFTS News, have shed significant new light on the alleged details. Per the new information, the unnamed victim had been a longtime friend of both Ziegler and his wife, and the trio had been in the midst of planning a sexual encounter. At the last minute, Bridget Ziegler said she would be unable to make it, prompting the friend to call off the plans entirely, telling the husband by text, “Sorry I was mostly in for her.”

Minutes after sending the message, the woman said she went to let her dog out and found Ziegler outside her apartment in Sarasota. The Florida GOP chair, she alleged, then entered the apartment, forcefully bent her over a barstool, and raped her.

Newsweek reached out to an attorney for Ziegler and the Florida GOP via email for comment.

florida gop chair rape allegations
Police lights are visible near crime scene tape. An investigation is underway into allegations that Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler raped a woman in early October.
Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

While the investigation remains ongoing and Ziegler has dismissed the allegations, security footage from the date of the alleged incident on October 2 appeared to show him arriving at the woman’s apartment building in a gray Ford truck at approximately 2:29 p.m. ET. Footage was also found showing him exiting an elevator on the victim’s floor, and then leaving the building 38 minutes later.

The victim also called her sister after the alleged incident, and checked into Sarasota Memorial Hospital where she completed a sexual assault kit. Speaking with police, she added that she had consumed a large amount of alcohol that day and was in no fit state to give consent for sex. Speaking with Sarasota Police in early November, Bridget Ziegler confirmed that the victim was a friend and that she and her husband had had sex with her once in the past year.

Speaking out on the matter, Florida Governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis called on Ziegler to step down from his role, while stressing that he is innocent until proven guilty.

“I think he should step aside,” DeSantis said earlier this week. “He’s innocent till proven guilty, but we just can’t have a party chair that is under that type of scrutiny.”

In a statement to Politico on Friday, Ziegler confirmed that he remains the chair for the Florida GOP.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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