ALBUQUERQUE ― James Baldinger, 51, of Minnesota, and a transport officer with the Prisoner Transportation Services of America (PTS), appeared in Federal Court Thursday in Duluth, Minn., after a federal grand jury sitting in Albuquerque, indicted him on charges related to his sexual assaults of a female in his custody, and using his firearm in furtherance of those assaults.
Counts One and Two of the indictment charge Baldinger with committing civil rights offenses that resulted in bodily injury, including aggravated sexual abuse and the use of a deadly weapon. Count Three charges Baldinger with knowingly possessing a firearm in furtherance of these crimes of violence.
Baldinger faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted of the crimes charged, and a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for possession of the firearm.
An indictment is merely a formal accusation of criminal conduct, and Baldinger is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI in cooperation with the New Mexico State Police. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaheen Torgoley of the District of New Mexico, and Special Litigation Counsel Fara Gold and Trial Attorney Maura White of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.