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The ex-leader of the Republican Party in Florida won’t be charged for secretly recording videos

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The person who used to lead the Republicans in Florida won’t face charges for secretly recording a sexual encounter, according to the legal office in Sarasota County, Florida.

Christian Ziegler lost his position in the party earlier this year because of an investigation into accusations of rape by a woman. Even though authorities decided not to charge Ziegler with sexual assault, saying the video suggested the encounter was probably consensual, they announced in January that they wanted to charge him for recording the encounter without permission.

In a note obtained by CNN, prosecutors said they wouldn’t pursue charges for secretly recording because they found problems in the woman’s statements.

“The woman couldn’t remember if she agreed to the recording, and she gave conflicting details about the event. Because of this, the state can’t prove beyond a doubt that the video was made without her knowledge or agreement. So, no charges will be filed,” the note said.

Ziegler’s lawyer said his client is relieved to be completely cleared of false accusations and any criminal activity.

“We cooperated at every stage of the investigation, and even though it was tough, we stayed quiet out of respect. From the beginning, we said Ziegler was innocent. We asked everyone not to judge too quickly and to assume Ziegler is innocent as the Constitution says. Unfortunately, many didn’t give that courtesy to Ziegler, and it harmed his family, career, and reputation during this process.”

Ziegler got into trouble in October when the woman accused him of raping her after she canceled a threesome with Ziegler and his wife. The police in Sarasota said the video Ziegler recorded on his phone suggested it was probably consensual. In Florida, recording a sexual encounter without permission is a serious crime.

The prosecutors explained that the woman’s inconsistent story seemed to be because she was very drunk and traumatized. They pointed out that she didn’t try to change her account significantly or pressure the authorities to file charges.

When news of the investigation came out, there was an immediate backlash, with calls for the Zieglers to step down from their important roles. Christian Ziegler was voted out of his leadership position in January, but Bridget Ziegler, who wasn’t accused of any crime, still faces calls to resign from the Sarasota County School Board.

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