The Florida GOP Chair Was Accused of Rape. Is His Career Over?

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Christian Ziegler repeatedly has denied the accusations and has mentioned he has no plans to resign.

After Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler was accused of sexual assault final week, the backlash towards him was swift. Florida Governor and presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, a former Ziegler supporter, mentioned at a press conference final Thursday, “I don’t see how he can continue with that investigation ongoing given the gravity of those situations.” On Monday, State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner called for his resignation.  On Tuesday, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) weighed in, writing in an announcement, “I don’t see how Christian can continue to successfully act as Chairman while this cloud hovers over him.” Moms for Liberty, the Florida-based crusading mother and father’ rights group that Ziegler’s spouse Bridget helped discovered, stopped quick of criticizing him however their tweet expressing assist for Bridget didn’t point out him.

Ziegler repeatedly has denied the accusations and has mentioned he has no plans to resign. “We have a country to save and I am not going to let false allegations of a crime put that mission on the bench as I wait for this process to wrap up,” he wrote in an e mail to his supporters on Saturday.

He could don’t have any selection. On Tuesday, Evan Power, the vice-chair of the Florida GOP known as for a particular assembly to debate Ziegler’s future with the group. The information web site Florida Politics reported that Evan Power knowledgeable the Florida GOP board members that he had requested Ziegler if he would consent to scheduling a particular assembly this month, however Ziegler declined and as an alternative prompt that the group wait until the often scheduled assembly in February. “It is the opinion of the many members that it is not an acceptable timetable,” wrote Power. The particular assembly is proposed for December 17.

Since the preliminary story of Ziegler’s alleged sexual assault broke, new particulars have been reported. According to a police affidavit on October 2, Ziegler messaged the alleged sufferer, who had been concerned in a consensual threesome with him and Bridget a yr prior, and proposed one other sexual encounter between the three of them. When the girl discovered that Bridget wouldn’t be accessible in spite of everything, she backed out and informed him she “was mostly in it for Bridget.” Surveillance video reveals that 5 minutes later, Ziegler confirmed up on the lady’s condo simply as she was making ready to stroll her canine. Ziegler “bent the victim over the ‘bar stool’ and had sex with her,” in keeping with the affidavit. The lady instantly known as her sister to report having been raped.

Two days later, a good friend of the girl’s known as the police and reported the incident. Several officers went to the girl’s home, and she or he recounted the story to them. She was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, the place physicians accomplished a rape equipment.

On October 27, the police opened an investigation, and the girl allowed them to direct her additional conversations with Ziegler from behind the scenes. The affidavit recounts conversations they’d through textual content, by which the girl informed Ziegler she was “not okay with what happened the other day between us,” and that she was “terrified” of him. Ziegler mentioned that he hadn’t supposed to scare her, and requested if she wanted cash. 

The scandal can also be roiling Moms for Liberty, the group that Christian Ziegler’s spouse helped discovered. (She break up from the group early on, however nonetheless serves on its board.) The Daily Beast reported this week {that a} Pennsylvania chapter of the group has damaged away from the nationwide group over the incident. Bridget Ziegler, who admitted that she had been concerned in a sexual encounter along with her husband and the alleged sufferer, has been widely criticized for her outspoken opposition to LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum and books—whereas additionally being concerned in a bisexual relationship. Bridget was instrumental within the creation of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” invoice, which forbids lecturers within the state from speaking about gender identification, and in some instances, same-sex relationships. On its website, Moms for Liberty lists the invoice as a “model policy” for different states to emulate. 

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