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No Sexual Battery Charges for Former Florida GOP Chair, Video Voyeurism Case Under Review

"Ex-Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler cleared of sexual battery charges; video voyeurism allegations under prosecutorial review."

Christian Ziegler, the former Republican Party of Florida Chairman, has been cleared of sexual battery charges following a thorough investigation by the Sarasota Police Department, as NBC News has reported. However, the case has taken a turn as prosecutors are now considering charges against him for alleged video voyeurism.

Details of the Investigation

The inquiry began after an incident on October 2 involving Ziegler and an unnamed woman, who later accused Ziegler of rape. Despite extensive interviews and surveillance footage reviews, Sarasota police were unable to find sufficient cause for a sexual battery charge.

Video Voyeurism Allegations

The case has shifted focus to the accusation of video voyeurism, a felony, stemming from Ziegler’s alleged secret recording of the sexual encounter. The police department stated that the victim was unaware and did not consent to being recorded, leading to a probable cause affidavit being sent to prosecutors.

Response from Ziegler’s Attorney

Derek Boyd, Ziegler’s attorney, expressed confidence in his client’s exoneration from the beginning. Boyd criticized the police for deferring the decision on the video recording aspect to the state attorney’s office but remains optimistic that Ziegler will not face prosecution for any crime.

Impact on Florida Republican Politics

The investigation, initially reported by the Center for Government Accountability, significantly impacted Florida’s Republican politics. It led to Ziegler’s removal as the state GOP chairman and the appointment of Evan Power as his successor. The scandal prompted calls for Ziegler’s resignation from prominent Florida Republicans, including Governor Ron DeSantis, ultimately leading to Ziegler’s formal removal earlier this month.

Fallout Affecting Ziegler’s Wife

The investigation has repercussions for Ziegler’s wife, Bridget Ziegler, a notable conservative figure and co-founder of Moms for Liberty. The legal scrutiny and the allegations have led to criticism and calls for her resignation from various conservative roles, despite no allegations of wrongdoing against her.