Sentencing delayed for convicted kidnapper

A delay in securing a psychological report has delayed sentencing of a convicted kidnapper and rapist for more than two months.

A delay in securing a psychological report has delayed sentencing of a convicted kidnapper and rapist for more than two months.

Gerard John Baumgarte, 57, of Red Deer, will now be sentenced sometime in late February, Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench heard on Monday.

He was set to be sentenced on Monday but the failure by the Southern Alberta Forensic Assessment Centre in Calgary to conduct a psychological and psychiatric assessment on time resulted in the delay, Crown prosecutor Orest Yereniuk told Justice Monica Bast.

“The doctor couldn’t complete the report on time,” the prosecutor said.

He also said the report needs to be complete so the sentencing can take place in a “timely way.”

The sentencing will take two days.

Baumgarte pleaded guilty in early November to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence, assault using a knife and falsely representing himself as a peace officer.

The psychiatric reports were ordered then.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton cautioned that sentencing is “not a matter that should be done hastily.”

MacNaughton will make her sentencing submissions at the February hearing.

She said it was important to have all the information necessary to conduct a proper sentencing.

The case was adjourned until Jan. 11 to set a firm date in February to match court availability and Justice Doreen Sulyma’s schedule. She took Baumgarte’s guilty pleas.

Baumgate kidnapped a Penhold teenager from her home on Feb. 26 and sexually assaulted her. She was held hostage in his Red Deer residence for two days before she was released. The girl, who cannot be named by a court order, was driving home at about 9:40 p.m. after a quick trip to a nearby convenience store in Penhold. Posing as a police officer, Baumgarte abducted her.

The Crown is seeking a life sentence for the profound physical and psychological damage suffered by the victim.

Yereniuk told court earlier that a life sentence for the accused would be fit and proper. He said life in prison is the maximum for kidnapping. An accused may apply for parole after seven years but the Crown is expected to argue for that to be lengthened.

Baumgarte also faces a Queen’s Bench trial on Sept. 7 and 8, 2010, for possession of a restricted firearm. He pleaded not guilty earlier.

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