Florida Republican party chair under investigation for alleged sexual assault

The chairman of Florida’s Republican occasion, Christian Ziegler, is reported to be beneath investigation for sexual battery – a possible political bombshell in a state that Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis name house.

In accordance with closely redacted police division paperwork, Ziegler is talked about within the context of an “lively prison investigation” after a person reported being “sexually battered” at house in Sarasota on 2 October.

The detective’s report mentions a “sexual assault allegation” and “sexual assault criticism” however nearly no different data. Solely 5 phrases survive the redactions: “acknowledged … raped … acknowledged that … raped”, in line with Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune and different retailers.

Derek Byrd, an legal professional for the Republican occasion chairman, mentioned he was assured his consumer “will probably be utterly exonerated” and mentioned he had been “absolutely cooperative with each request made by the Sarasota police division”.

“Sadly, public figures are sometimes accused of acts that they didn’t commit whether or not or not it’s for political functions or monetary acquire,” Byrd added. “I might warning anybody to not rush to judgment till the investigation is concluded. Out of respect for the investigation, that is all Mr Ziegler or myself can say right now.”

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, mentioned in a press release that Ziegler ought to resign. He advised reporters that Ziegler has been a good friend, however the “gravity of these conditions” meant he may proceed main the occasion.

“He’s harmless until confirmed responsible, however we simply can’t have a celebration chair that’s beneath that sort of scrutiny,” DeSantis mentioned. “The mission is extra necessary.”

The police report containing the allegations was first delivered to gentle by Florida Heart for Authorities Accountability’s Florida Trident publication, which says police seized Ziegler’s cellphone and “investigators proceed to conduct a forensic examination of the digital machine”, citing solely nameless sources.

Sources advised the publication that the lady accusing Ziegler “alleged that she and each Zieglers had been concerned in a longstanding consensual three-way sexual relationship previous to the incident” and that the incident occurred when Ziegler and the lady had been alone on the girl’s home.

The Republican occasion of Sarasota county issued a press release saying the occasion was “shocked and upset” by the stories, including that it “takes all such allegations of potential prison conduct very significantly and can absolutely cooperate with investigators”.

The allegations hit as Florida Republicans are getting ready for subsequent 12 months’s presidential election with a candidate for the nomination, DeSantis, struggling to make headway in opposition to the presumed nominee and Florida transplant, Trump.

Ziegler is a former Sarasota county commissioner who turned chairman of the state Republican occasion in February. His spouse, Bridget Ziegler, is a founding father of Mothers for Liberty (M4L), the parental rights group that has been on the forefront of efforts to ban or require parental consent for sure LGBTQ+ books and literature in colleges and libraries.

In a now-deleted X publish, M4L mentioned: “One more try at present to break the repute of a powerful girl combating for America … We stand with @BridgetAZiegler & each different badass girl combating for youths & America.”

Bridget Ziegler, who’s not concerned with M4L, was with DeSantis when he signed laws that got here to be often known as the “don’t say homosexual” invoice and was appointed to a board that oversees a particular district that oversees the Disney-owned Disneyland that DeSantis and state Republicans have feuded with.

“As leaders within the Florida GOP and Mothers for Liberty, the Zieglers have made a behavior out of attacking something they understand as going in opposition to ‘household values’ – be it reproductive rights or the existence of LGBTQ+ Floridians,” the Florida Democratic occasion chair, Nikki Fried, mentioned in a press release. “The extent of hypocrisy on this scenario is gorgeous.”

Check Also

Airman dies while deployed to Andersen Air Force Base

A senior airman assigned to the thirty eighth Rescue Squadron died throughout a deployment to …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *