Former Burlington officer appears in court, accused of sexual assault

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A former officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman who asked for his help made his first court appearance.

Matthew Baumhardt, 30, of Salem resigned from the Burlington Police Department due to the investigation.

According to the criminal complaint the former officer raped a woman who asked for a ride home the night of July 29th. According to the complaint, the woman was intoxicated and did not tell him no because she was afraid he would retaliate.

He apparently told investigators he had no choice because she was blackmailing him.

In court, Baumhardt waived the preliminary hearing.

“At a preliminary hearing the state calls witnesses to testify to prove probable cause that a felony has been committed, and you probably committed it. During the testimony of the witnesses you may have learned facts that would’ve supported your defenses, so by waiving the hearing you’re agreeing the state can prove probable cause and I can order you to stand trial on the charges,” mentioned Honorable Judge Alice Rudebusch.

If convicted, Baumhardt could spend up to 23 years behind bars.

The arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 15. 

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