Baumhardt resigned after he was accused of sex assault

By Jason Arndt

Editor

A former City of Burlington police sergeant accused of sexual misconduct while on duty pleaded not guilty to assault charges at a Nov. 15 arraignment in Racine County Circuit Court.

Matthew Baumhardt, 30, who resigned from the department amid an internal investigation on Aug. 23, waived his right to preliminary hearing at his Oct. 3 appearance before Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.

Matthew Baumhardt

Baumhardt, bound over for trial at his initial appearance, has been out on $10,000 signature bond, according to online court records, which indicate he must follow specific conditions.

Conditions of his bond include refraining from contacting the victim, offering a DNA sample, and appearing at all scheduled court hearing proceedings.

His next scheduled appearance is a Jan. 28 status conference before Racine County Circuit Court judge Wynne P. Laufenberg.

Baumhardt, of Salem Lakes, is charged with two counts of felony third-degree sexual assault and one count of felony misconduct while on duty related to a July 29 incident.

Kenosha County Deputy District Attorney Angelina Gabriele is serving as special prosecutor of the case to avoid a potential conflict of interest in light of the fact Baumhardt worked with prosecutors in the Racine County DA’s office.

Baumhardt, who was placed on administrative leave Aug. 1 until his resignation, was arrested and booked into Kenosha County Jail a day later and release, jail records show.

The victim, according to the criminal complaint, told investigators Baumhardt coerced her into having sexual intercourse in exchange for a ride home.

The complaint alleges Baumhardt, who was working the overnight shift on July 28-29, encountered the intoxicated woman, who had attended a wedding with her boyfriend but left him after the two had a disagreement, in downtown Burlington.

The woman was shoeless and crying when she asked Baumhardt to give her a ride home to Waterford, according to the complaint.

Baumhardt allegedly told the woman he couldn’t drive her home because she lived out of his jurisdiction, the complaint states. He then asked the woman her name and told her to put her hands on his squad car before patting her down.

The woman, according to the complaint, told investigators Baumhardt touched her inappropriately during the pat down.

Baumhardt then had the woman get in the front seat of his squad car and “told her he would do her a favor and give her a ride home,” but he asked her for a favor in return, according to the complaint.

He then drove the victim to another location, where he had sexual intercourse with her, the complaint states.

As Baumhardt drove her home, he “told her several times that this had to be kept a secret,” the complaint states.

The victim later told investigators she feared he would retaliate against her or abandon her if she did not oblige.

In an Aug. 1 interview, Baumhardt denied the allegations but admitted he drove the woman home.

According to the complaint, Baumhardt said the woman brushed against him early in the encounter and accused him of touching her inappropriately. He then told investigators that the victim told him she would accuse him of rape if he didn’t have sex with her and give her a ride home.

Baumhardt told investigators he feared he would lose his job and family if he was accused of rape, so “he felt he had no other choice,” the complaint states.

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