Penhold teen kidnapping case delayed

Failure to reach an agreement on the facts, coupled with an incomplete psychiatric report, delayed the case Monday of a man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young Penhold girl.

Failure to reach an agreement on the facts, coupled with an incomplete psychiatric report, delayed the case Monday of a man charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a young Penhold girl.

Gerard John Baumgarte, 57, returns to Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench today. He is expected to enter pleas on at least six of 12 charges laid against him last February.

The girl, who was 16 at the time, was abducted on Feb. 26 outside her home by a man posing as a policeman and driving a vehicle equipped with flashing red and blue lights.

Baumgarte is charged with two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, uttering threats, impersonating a peace officer and several firearms offences.

The girl, who can’t be named because she is the victim of an alleged sexual assault, was allegedly taken just metres from her Penhold home.

She had just come back from a trip to a nearby convenience store and was clad in a trench coat and pyjamas. Her purse, vehicle keys and items she bought were still in the vehicle, which still had its lights on.

The girl, who was released by her captor, called her parents from a Red Deer shopping centre two nights later.

The suspect was arrested the next day while driving in Red Deer.

Crown prosecutor Orest Scranik of Edmonton told court he’s confident the issue can be worked out.

“We’re both confident it can be resolved with a bit of time,” he told Justice Doreen Sulyma of Edmonton.

Scranik suggested sentencing could occur on Thursday or Friday.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton said there was no agreement on the statement of facts.

MacNaughton also said at least one psychiatric test ordered by the court a few months ago was done incorrectly.

“There’s no guilty plea entered,” she reiterated.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

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