Video voyeurism added to probe of Florida GOP Chair following rape allegation

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Police are expanding their investigation into Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler, who came under the microscope in October after a rape accusation.

Detectives are now looking into whether he committed video voyeurism by secretly recording the victim during the alleged sexual encounter, FOX 13 Tampa Bay reported. 

Ziegler is accused of raping a woman with whom he and his wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, had a prior consensual sexual relationship, according to police records.

Police documents say the Zieglers and the woman had planned a sexual encounter that day, but Bridget Ziegler was unable to make it. The accuser says Christian Ziegler arrived anyway and assaulted her on Oct. 2. The encounter was reported to police two days later. 

FLORIDA GOP SUSPENDS CHAIRMAN, DEMANDS RESIGNATION AMID RAPE ALLEGATIONS

Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler and former President Donald Trump

Christian Ziegler, seen here with President Trump, has not been charged with a crime and says he is innocent, contending the encounter was consensual. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

In a Nov. 2 interview with detectives, Ziegler mentioned the video. He said he deleted it, then recovered it after the rape allegation surfaced.

“The search warrant dated December 8, said Ziegler showed detectives the two and a half minute video of the sexual encounter. He maintained that it was consensual,” FOX 13 states.

FLORIDA GOP CHAIRMAN CHRISTIAN ZIEGLER CLAIMS INNOCENCE, WILL NOT RESIGN OVER RAPE ALLEGATION

Ziegler at podium

Christian Ziegler addresses attendees at the Republican Party of Florida Freedom Summit, Nov. 4, 2023, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

That same day, a judge granted access to Ziegler’s Instagram account. Ziegler’s attorney, Derek Byrd, said the victim asked if he had shown his wife the video in a message sent using “vanish mode.”

Neither the alleged victim, whose identity has been redacted in police records, nor Bridget Ziegler said they “knew anything about this video … and neither had seen the video,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler

Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler is the subject of criminal sexual battery investigation. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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Video voyeurism is a third-degree felony in Florida, which the law says involves taking video without the consent of someone who is “dressing, undressing, or privately exposing the body, at a place and time when that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy” for the purposes of “amusement, entertainment, sexual arousal, gratification, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person.”

Police say no charges have been filed against Ziegler at this time.



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