After investigating a claimed sexual assault, the Sarasota, Florida Police Department announced on Friday that former Florida Republican Party leader Christian Ziegler will not be charged. However, the police have submitted a probable cause affidavit for video voyeurism since Ziegler allegedly filmed a sexual interaction with a woman without her consent.
Former Florida GOP Chair Faces Video Voyeurism Probe Amid Sexual Assault Allegations: Legal Twist Unfolds
Ziegler was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he and his wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, had a consensual sexual connection with in October. Ziegler refuted the charges and cooperated with the investigation.
Ziegler may face video voyeurism charges while not being charged with sexual assault. Police found Ziegler’s cell phone footage of the alleged sexual encounter during their investigation. The footage appeared to show consenting activity, but detectives could not prove sexual battery. After seeing the footage, the victim denied consenting to being filmed.
Investigators sent a probable cause affidavit for video voyeurism to the State Attorney’s Office for examination in response. In December, Ziegler’s lawyers predicted his acquittal after the police probe.
Florida GOP Chief Ousted Amidst Scandal: Evan Power Takes Helm, Calls for Party Unity
The claims led the Florida GOP to remove Ziegler as party head earlier this month. Evan Power, the state party’s vice chair, was elected chair after his removal. Power stressed the need to “close this chapter” and focus on winning Florida elections.
Nearly a dozen interviews, multiple subpoenas, and significant surveillance footage, photos, and videos on cell phones and cloud backups were reviewed by police. Despite the case’s intricacy, the State Attorney’s Office analyzes the probable cause affidavit to determine video voyeurism’s legal consequences.