Baumhardt resigns and faces trial in neighboring county

A former City of Burlington police sergeant accused of sexual misconduct while on duty last July brought more changes to a department already undergoing reorganization.

Matthew Baumhardt, 30, who allegedly assaulted an intoxicated woman he was supposed to be helping July 28-29, was placed on administrative leave from Aug. 1 until his resignation on Aug. 23.

His alleged misconduct and resignation, meanwhile, left the department without a K9 handler for the second time in a little more than a year.

Matthew Baumhardt

While the department found a new partner for Zander, Baumhardt still faces upcoming court appearances for his alleged assault, with his next scheduled for Jan. 28.

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 the July 29 incident, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint alleges Baumhardt, who was working the overnight shift on July 28-29, encountered an intoxicated woman in downtown Burlington, who had attended a wedding with her boyfriend, but left him after the two had a disagreement. 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 allegedly assaulted her, the complaint contends, adding she told investigators Baumhardt committed the acts at the city’s former water treatment plant on Pine Street.

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

Baumhardt, who denied the allegations, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Nov. 15.

Baumhardt has been out on $10,000 signature bond, according to online court records, which indicate he must follow specific conditions.

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