Another year added to kidnapper’s sentence

Another year has been added to the sentence of a man serving a lengthy prison term for kidnapping a Penhold teenager while posing as a police officer.

Another year has been added to the sentence of a man serving a lengthy prison term for kidnapping a Penhold teenager while posing as a police officer.

Gerard John Baumgarte, 57, of Red Deer, was sentenced to the minimum term of three years in jail for possession of an illegal weapon. However, two years of that will be served concurrently with the 17-year sentence he’s serving for the kidnapping and sexual assault.

Baumgarte, who pleaded guilty earlier this fall to the weapon’s charge, was sentenced on Monday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.

Crown prosecutor Jason Snider said the .22-calibre handgun, with ammunition readily available, was turned over to RCMP by Baumgarte’s relative, who was packing up belongings of the accused in his residence shortly after he was arrested and charged with the kidnapping.

Snider said the weapons offence occurred between Feb. 26 and April 30, 2009.

Two related weapons charges were stayed by the Crown.

Snider said the relative was told by the accused that the handgun was hidden in a desk in the mobile home. The RCMP missed the concealed gun when they searched his house after the kidnapping.

Baumgarte was sentenced earlier this year after pleading guilty to kidnapping, sexual assault, assault with a weapon, confinement and impersonating a peace officer, using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence and assault using a knife.

Snider said the handgun was not used in the kidnapping and confinement, which lasted more than two days.

Baumgarte posed as a police officer to kidnap a 16-year-old girl in Penhold in February 2009. She was sexually assaulted before being dropped off at a Red Deer shopping centre.

He asked the victim to get into his car, which was equipped with red and flashing lights.

He slashed her cheek with a knife, pointed an imitation handgun at her, and bound her and put her in the trunk of his car before taking her to his Red Deer residence, where he assaulted her.

His sentence was reduced to 15 years and 315 days in prison after he was given credit for just over a year spent in custody prior to sentencing.

Defence lawyer Arnold Piragoff said on Monday that the gun was bought by Baumgarte in Idaho in 2006 when passing through on his job as a long-distance truck driver.

Piragoff said the gun was never fired and Baumgarte never had a licence for it.

“If he hadn’t told (the relative), it would never have been found,” Piragoff said.

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