Man charged in abduction of Penhold teen goes to trial

A Central Alberta man accused of posing as a police officer to lure a teenager away from her truck is to be tried by judge alone.

The home of Gerard Baumgarte in Parkside Estates in Red Deer. Baumgarte is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

The home of Gerard Baumgarte in Parkside Estates in Red Deer. Baumgarte is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

RED DEER — A Central Alberta man accused of posing as a police officer to lure a teenager away from her truck is to be tried by judge alone.

Gerard Baumgarte of Red Deer made the choice when he appeared briefly in court.

He faces several charges, including impersonating a peace officer, sexual assault and kidnapping.

He was charged after a 16-year-old girl from nearby Penhold disappeared last winter on her way to a store.

She was released and called her family a few days later from a Red Deer shopping mall.

Baumgarte, who is 57, is to be back in court Aug. 14 to enter a plea.