Court briefs – July 22

A Red Deer man accused of posing as a police officer then sexually assaulting a teenage girl he abducted will be tried by a judge alone.

Judge to hear sexual assault case

A Red Deer man accused of posing as a police officer then sexually assaulting a teenage girl he abducted will be tried by a judge alone.

Gerard Baumgarte, 57, made the choice through his lawyer when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday on 12 charges.

Lawyer Patty MacNaughton waived a preliminary hearing so a trial date could be set on Aug. 14 in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Baumgarte has yet to enter a plea and is in custody.

He was charged after a 16-year-old Penhold girl was abducted on Feb. 26.

RCMP said the girl was taken by the man dressed in a police uniform. His vehicle was complete with flashing blue and red lights.

Charges include kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, uttering threats, impersonating a peace officer and several firearms offences.


Lagace to remain in custody

A man charged with being on the lam for more than two months after he tried to run police over amid gunfire will remain in custody and return to court July 28.

Steve Lagace, 24, of Red Deer, reserved his plea on 29 charges when he appeared in Red Deer provincial court Tuesday.

A province-wide operation by RCMP saw the arrest of Lagace on July 13 in Red Deer.

Police allege Lagace was in possession of a stolen GMC 3500 diesel pickup when he was arrested.

After being picked up police also got a search warrant for a property near Coronation.

Police seized firearms, four stolen Ford F350 pickups, four quads, a motorcycle and dirt bike, a holiday trailer and other stolen property.

Lagace faces 13 charges in connection with the May 7 incident in Glendale including assault with a weapon, resisting arrest, criminal flight from police and dangerous driving. He also faces numerous property-related offences.

The dramatic escape happened around midnight when two plainclothes police officers tried to arrest Lagace on a stolen property charge near the Express 24 in Glendale, in the city’s north end.

Before the officers could handcuff the suspect he climbed into a nearby pickup and took off. Police allege he tried to run down the officers as he was making his escape.

Lagace’s girlfriend Carly Phair, 21, was also arrested with him on 14 outstanding warrants. She also reserved her plea until Thursday and is in custody.

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