Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Alberta teen's kidnapper and rapist, sentenced to 18 years

RED DEER — Gerard Baumgarte was sentenced to 18 years behind bars on Friday for kidnapping and repeatedly raping a 16-year-old girl.
The 57-year-old was sentenced to 17 years for kidnapping and was given an additional, one-year mandatory term for using an imitation firearm after pleading guilty to six charges ranging from sex assault to kidnapping for the attack on a teen girl he abducted outside her Red Deer-area home last February.
Diagnosed as a sexual sadist during a psychiatric assessment, Baumgarte was also sentenced to 12 years for sexual assault, 10 years for unlawful confinement, three years for assault with a weapon and six months for impersonating a police officer, which will be served concurrently.
Justice D. A. Sulyma gave Baumgarte two-for-one credit for the 390 days he spent in pre-trial custody, meaning he will serve 15 years, 315 days.
Wearing a blue prison jumpsuit and glasses, Baumgarte looked nervous during the sentencing, mostly keeping his head down.
Dressed as a cop and with flashing red and blue lights on his vehicle, Baumgarte forced the girl into the trunk of his car at knifepoint then held her for two days, raping her as many as nine times.
She was eventually released at a Red Deer mall after being terrorized for 46 hours, an ordeal that left her with a large scar on her cheek where Baumgarte cut her with a knife.
Court was told Baumgarte spent weeks fantasizing about the crime and chose the girl at random while filling his mother’s car at a gas station near her house.
Defence lawyer Patricia McNaughton said there will be no appeal.
Speaking to reporters outside the Red Deer Provincial Courthouse, the girl’s uncle — who can’t be named to protect her identity — said the sentence offers little solace to their family.
“Every time she sees that scar on her face she has to go through the moments again, every single day,” he said.
“That’s where I’m sad, I feel as though my niece has to suffer a life sentence and he doesn’t.
“I think my niece got a worse sentence than he did and that’s where I’m frustrated and angry.”
Baumgarte was also ordered to register as a sexual offender, submit a DNA sample to the national registry and was handed a lifetime firearm ban.
No time has been set for parole eligibility but the girl’s uncle said they will return to court if and when that happens.
“The only thing I can hope is that he has a heart attack in jail or something happens,” he said.
“I just hope he dies and we don’t have to come back to this again.”
McNaughton asked the court to recommend Baumgarte serve his sentence at Bowden Institution to be close to his mother and two sisters, who have shown him support through the trial, which Sulyma agreed to do.

A central Alberta man who dressed up as an RCMP officer to abduct and sexually assault a 16-year-old girl has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Gerard John Baumgarte, 57, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, confinement, using a fake firearm to kidnap and impersonating a peace officer in November 2009.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Doreen Sulyma gave Baumgarte credit on Friday for serving time in custody before the trial, which reduced his prison term to 15 years and 315 days.
"He is taking his punishment as he expected and is not considering an appeal," said Baumgarte's lawyer, Patty MacNaughton.
The judge did not say when Baumgarte would be eligible to apply for parole, leaving it up to the National Parole Board to determine.
'She's only 17 years old. The average Canadian woman lives to 83. She's got a long, long time ahead of her to live through this and he doesn't.'— Victim's uncle
The victim's uncle, who cannot be identified to protect her identity, said no sentence would be enough for the victim and her family.
"The only thing I can hope is that [Baumgarte] has a heart attack in jail or something happens," he said. "I just hope he dies, and we don't have to come back to this again."
In February 2009, Baumgarte followed his victim from a gas station in Penhold, about 120 kilometres north of Calgary, and signalled her to pull over the truck she was driving by turning on flashing lights in his vehicle.
Impersonating a police officer, he told the girl that her vehicle registration was expired and lured her to his vehicle. Armed with a knife and BB gun, he put her in the trunk, slashing her cheek in the process.

Abductor diagnosed as sexual sadist

For two days, Baumgarte held the girl in his Red Deer trailer and sexually assaulted her before letting her go at a local mall.
A forensic psychiatrist testified at a sentencing hearing on Thursday that Baumgarte was a sexual sadist, someone who enjoys seeing a victim in pain.
Baumgarte's victim stayed home from school on Friday and baked cookies to keep herself busy, said her uncle.
The family got rid of the girl's truck, which reminded her of the ordeal, and got her a new car, but she's still scared to travel alone, he said.
"She's only 17 years old," the uncle said. "The average Canadian woman lives to 83. She's got a long, long time ahead of her to live through this, and he doesn't."
The Crown had argued for a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years while the defence was seeking 10 to 15 years in prison minus time already served.

Kidnapper a sexual sadist, court hears
RED DEER — The rapist who abducted a teen outside her home and held her captive for nearly two days is a sexual sadist who deserves a life sentence, a Crown attorney told Court of Queens Bench Thursday.
Orest Yereniuk said Gerard Baumgarte’s repeated sex attacks on a teen he kidnapped, in just under 47 hours, left a lifetime of painful memories for his victim, her family and a community shaken by the crime.
“And for what?” he said.
“For his depraved desire to kidnap, abuse and repeatedly sexually assault ... There was no compassion or leniency for this complainant.”
The Crown is asking for a life term with parole eligibility after half his sentence or a maximum of 10 years has been served.
The now 57-year-old pleaded guilty to six charges ranging from sex assault to kidnapping for the attack on a 16-year-old girl he kidnapped outside her Red Deer-area home last February.
He had spent weeks looking for a victim and had darkened the lenses of goggles he would force her to wear until he let her go at a shopping mall nearly two days later.
Posing as a police officer, Baumgarte put the teen in a trunk when it was -30C outside, raped her seven times and left her with scar on her cheek from where he slashed her as he took her from just outside her family home.
Yereniuk listed more than a dozen aggravating factors — from planning his attack to tying his victim up, and terrifying her and the family who was frantic to find her.
“He brutalized her for 46 hours ... showed total disregard for another human being,” he told court.
“He kept her masked in part to increase the terror — after two hours, after four hours ... any rational girl would be thinking the worst — are these my last hours? Will I ever see my family again? Is this the end?”
Defence lawyer Patricia MacNaughton said the very fact her client let the teen go is a mitigating factor.
She pointed out Baumgarte let the girl live.
“He’s not the worst,” she told court.
“There was no gratuitous violence, he didn’t torture her ... she was told she would not be killed, she was told she would be released and that in fact took place.”
Suggesting he be handed a sentence in the range of 10 to 15 years, minus about 2 years for time served, MacNaughton pointed out her client is a first time offender being “vilified” in the courts.
“He is also a human being, a man who has family who loves him ... In the search for justice we can’t lose sight of that,” she said
Baumgarte, barely audible, nervously clasping his hands, addressed the court briefly.
“I just want to say I’m sorry, I beg forgiveness from the victim ... For the shame on my family as well,” he said.
Earlier, forensic psychiatrist, Roger Brown said he diagnosed the sex predator as a sexual sadist and noted detecting little compassion for how his crime might have impacted the teen.
Justice Doreen Sulyma will hand down her sentence Friday.

I agree with the sentence of 15 years for this man. I believe that prison should be reserved for the most dangerous and high risk offenders and this man, is one of them. He is a dangerous sex offender and a sexual sadist. These types of people are very hard to rehabilitate, which is why I believe he should not be serving a community sentence. I think he should be eligible for parole in half that time, which would be 7.5 years, but he will likely be released at that point anyways. 

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