Kidnapper labelled a ‘sexual sadist’

A sexual sadist with a long-standing interest in bondage and abduction.

A sexual sadist with a long-standing interest in bondage and abduction.

That’s how a Red Deer man who kidnapped and raped a Penhold teen last year was described in a psychiatric report presented in Court of Queen’s Bench in Red Deer on Thursday.

In November, Gerard John Baumgarte, 57, of Red Deer pleaded guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, two counts of sexual assault, using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence, possessing a restricted firearm knowing it was prohibited, assault using a knife and falsely representing himself as a peace officer.

Baumgarte’s sentencing, which began in November, was adjourned until Thursday for the completion of the psychiatric report.

Dr. Roger Brown, a forensic psychiatrist at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, said Baumgarte “meets full diagnostic criteria” for a sexual sadist, defined as someone who gets sexual pleasure by the psychological and physical suffering of others.

“It’s actually quite rare. It’s the only time I’ve felt confident in the diagnosis,” said Brown in the courtroom.

Baumgarte kidnapped the teenager on Feb. 26, 2009. She was held hostage in his Red Deer residence for almost two days and sexually assaulted nine times before he released her.

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 stopped beside the young driver outside her home. His car was equipped with red and flashing lights.

He wore a fur hat similar to that worn by RCMP officers and his clothing had RCMP flashes and yellow strip down the pant legs similar to Mounties.

He told the victim he was going to write her a ticket because he said the licence plate on her vehicle was expired.

Baumgarte asked the girl to get into his car. Once inside, he held a knife to her face and slashed her cheek when she struggled.

He then pointed an imitation handgun at her and forced her to wear ski goggles, which had been painted black over the lenses.

The girl was then tied up. He put her in the trunk of his vehicle and took her to his residence in north Red Deer.

After the assaults over a span of 46 hours he dropped her off at a Red Deer shopping mall..

The girl’s disappearance sparked a police manhunt and prompted friends, family and strangers to hold candlelight vigils.

Crown prosecutor Orest Yereniuk told the court Baumgarte searched for a victim for one to two weeks.

The 16-year-old victim he found was put through “pure anguish and terror,” Yereniuk said.

Her and her family still suffer. Since Baumgarte didn’t use a condom, the teen is still being tested for AIDS.

Yereniuk said she can’t sleep in the dark. She has a fear of driving at night. She’s scared of police.

Her car was demolished so she would never have to see it again. Smells can also trigger fear. She had a panic attack in a theatre when she smelled Baumgarte’s cologne on a stranger.

“The affects are profound and still lingering,” said Yereniuk, recommending Baumgarte be given a life sentence.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton argued for a 10- to 15-year sentence with credit for two years for the time her client has spent in custody.

“There is no one else to blame for this offence, but he does not deserve the worst sentence,” MacNaughton said.

“There would not be a good message sent to criminals if the court started giving out life sentences for offences seen here. (The victim) was released.”

He took care of her by bandaging the cut on her face, which was an accident, washed her clothes and fed her, she said.

Baumgarte, who has no criminal record, told the court in a quiet, trembling voice that he was sorry, begged for forgiveness, and said he still didn’t know why he did it.

MacNaughton said some of the information about Baumgarte used for the psychiatric report has not been proven so it should be given less weight.

Justice Doreen Sulyma will sentence Baumgarte today.

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