Moms for Liberty Co-Founder Sues to Keep Police Docs in Rape Probe Secret

Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty
Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty

Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler and her husband are suing Sarasota police and prosecutors to stop the release of records related to his rape probe.

Last October, cops began investigating Ziegler’s husband, Christian, after the MAGA power couple’s threesome partner accused him of sexual assault. After local news outlet the Florida Trident published the claims, Christian Ziegler lost his job as Florida’s Republican Party chairman and Bridget Ziegler was let go from the conservative leadership institute.

Authorities ultimately decided against charging Christian Ziegler with rape and video voyeurism, but the sex scandal underscored the hypocrisy of the Zieglers’ family values persona—one critics have called anti-LGBTQ—while engaging in bisexual activity.

According to the couple’s lawsuit filed Friday, the release of records from the Sarasota Police Department (SPD) and State Attorney’s Office (SAO) would “cause great humiliation and harm to their individual reputations.” The Zieglers are asking Sarasota County court to bar the release of records and “order the permanent destruction” of any text messages.

The complaint, first reported by the Trident, says cops executed search warrants on Christian Ziegler’s cellphone that didn’t limit investigators to a specific time period or to communications with his accuser. Instead, it included all text messages, call logs, images and video, web browser history, and emails.

One warrant gave police “unfettered access to the entire contents of Christian Ziegler’s cell phone,” the complaint states. “To say that someone’s entire life is contained on one’s cell phone is an understatement.”

Both SPD and SAO have received public records requests “seeking the entirety” of what was uncovered in the warrants, the filing says. “The Zieglers are concerned that other individuals and media outlets will most likely make, or have already made, similar public records requests with either SPD or the SAO now that the investigation has concluded.”

The complaint warns that cops and prosecutors could release “the entirety of Christian Ziegler’s web browsing history,” full-text conversations with his wife, “the video of Christian Ziegler and his accuser engaging in sexual intercourse,” and all other data and media that police obtained from his phone. (Christian Ziegler provided police with a video of himself and the victim as part of the investigation, arguing their encounter was consensual.)

“The Zieglers seek to preclude the release and publication of any of the above-mentioned materials before SPD or the SAO release them pursuant to any active public records request,” the suit continues, adding that releasing the materials would be a violation of the couple’s rights to privacy guaranteed by the Florida constitution.

Bridget Ziegler’s Gay Ex-Friends Are Sad About Who She's Become

As The Daily Beast reported, Christian Ziegler was accused of raping a longtime friend who’d previously had a threesome with him and his wife.

The woman told police that she made plans for a ménage à trois with the couple on Oct. 2 but canceled when she learned Bridget Ziegler couldn’t make it. She claimed Christian Ziegler showed up at her apartment anyway and assaulted her while she was too intoxicated to consent.

She told detectives “that Ziegler assaulted her in her house, but no one will believe her because of who he is.” One officer noted in a report that the woman “seemed very fearful of Ziegler by the way she was talking.”

Police records released this year revealed some of the Zieglers’ text messages wherein they discussed the victim and potentially hunted for other sex partners—along with a file found on Christian Ziegler’s phone labeled “THE LIST” that included a roster of women’s names. (The accuser was found under a subhead titled “Fuck.”)

In February 2021, Christian Ziegler texted his wife that his accuser “was an alcoholic, nice person with some issues.” Bridget Ziegler replied that the woman seemed to be “going through some shit” and “that she prefers confident empowered people,” according to the documents.

“I just don’t want to feel like we ever take advantage of anyone (I know it’s always been consensual) but she seems... ‘broken’ or like she’s going through some (expletive),” Bridget Ziegler later added. “I don’t know—that’s the vibe I pick up from her—and my nature is more likely to help her versus… ya know.”

Christian Ziegler then suggested they “needed to hunt for someone new.”

Since the scandal broke, Bridget Ziegler has resisted residents’ repeated calls for her resignation from the Sarasota County School Board.

She pushed back on critics during a board meeting earlier this month, claiming they’d mischaracterized her policies, including the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. She blamed LGBTQ rights group Equality Florida for causing “unnecessary fear.”

“There is a lot of intentional fearmongering,” Bridget Ziegler told the crowd, adding, “but if you want to talk about fear, it is because there is [sic] a lot of headlines out there that are filled with false narratives.”

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