Police have recovered video of Florida GOP chair and alleged victim in rape investigation
Editor's note: This story contains explicit sexual content and details involving an alleged sexual assaultSarasota police have recovered a cell phone video taken by Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler of his sexual encounter with a woman who has alleged he raped her, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the criminal investigation.
Sarasota police have recovered a cell phone video taken by Florida GOP chairman Christian Ziegler of his sexual encounter with a woman who has alleged he raped her, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the criminal investigation.
That video, in addition to security surveillance video from the apartment complex where the woman lives, provided police investigators with graphic evidence of the October 2 sexual encounter between the two, which Ziegler has told police was consensual.
The apartment’s surveillance video, according to the sources, shows Ziegler knocking on the woman’s door and walking inside, which appears to contradict the woman’s claim to police that he walked into her apartment after she opened the door to walk her dog.
According to a police search warrant affidavit, Ziegler arrived alone at the apartment shortly after the woman backed out of a proposed tryst involving Ziegler and his wife, Bridget Ziegler, a Sarasota school board member and cofounder of Moms for Liberty. “Sorry I was in mostly for her,” she messaged Ziegler.
He arrived at her apartment five minutes after receiving that message, according to the affidavit. Inside the apartment, Ziegler made a cell phone video of the sex act while she was bent over a piece of furniture in the bedroom, according to sources.
Michael Barfield, lead investigator for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, contributed to this report.
About the Author: Bob Norman is an award-winning investigative reporter who serves as Editor-in-Chief of The Florida Trident and journalism program director for the Florida Center for Government Accountability.
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