Suspect reserves plea

A man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Penhold girl reserved his plea through a lawyer in Red Deer court on Wednesday.

A man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Penhold girl reserved his plea through a lawyer in Red Deer court on Wednesday.

Gerard John Baumgarte, 56, returns to provincial court on April 15 to face several charges.

Baumgarte didn’t appear in court since his lawyer Patty MacNaughton has filed a designation of counsel form.

He remains in custody.

The Red Deer man faces charges of impersonating a police officer, kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, making threats with a firearm, pointing a firearm and assault with a weapon.

The accused was charged following the disappearance of a 16-year-old Penhold girl who vanished for nearly two days after she was alleged to have been kidnapped on Feb. 26.

Police say the girl was taken just outside her residence by a man dressed in a police uniform and his car was complete with flashing blue-and-red lights.

The girl, who can’t be named because she is the alleged victim of a sexual assault and is a minor, was taken after she had just bought some items from a Penhold store.

The girl, who escaped from her captor, called her parents from the Bower Place Shopping Centre in Red Deer the evening of Feb. 28.

The suspect was arrested the next day.

Crown prosecutor Jason Snider told court on Wednesday that MacNaughton has been supplied with an initial binder of police information on the case.

However, more disclosure is expected, including search warrants and forensic information gathered by RCMP.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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