Community rallies as Curtis Sagmoen back in Vernon court

Sagmoen’s arraignment hearing for assault charges has been set for February.

People all over the Okanagan and Secwepemc spent the morning preparing their ribbon skirts, signs, and posters in preparation for another court date for Curtis Sagmoen.

Sagmoen faces assault charges due to an incident that occured between him and RCMP officer, Cpl. Kovacs on Oct, 29, 2020 in the Spallumcheen area. He was charged with Assault of a Peace Officer. 

Sagmoen did not show up to the courthouse today but youth, men and women, some travelling for hours, did. After a brief appearance by his lawyer, Sagmoen’s arraignment hearing, where he will plead either guilty or not guilty, was set for Feb. 11, 2021. 

Rally against Curtis Sagmoen in Vernon, BC
Syilx and Secwepemc women held up signs while awaiting for the first hearing to begin. Photo by Kelsie Kilawna

Once word reached the group that he was not there some decided to go to the Sagmoen’s property on Salmon River Road. 

“He didn’t come today, so we will go to him,” one youth, who didn’t want to be identified due to safety concerns said to IndigiNews.

IndigiNews followed as the group of mostly Syilx and Secwepemc youth drove from the courthouse to the Sagmoen farm. When they arrived they laid down medicine, hung a red dress and together repeated “we will not stop until we have answers, no justice, no peace!” 

Long history 

In addition to the current charges, Sagmoen is currently on probation, after he was convicted of assault causing bodily harm in June of 2020 for assaulting a sex worker in 2017 on the Sagmoen family farm property just outside of Enderby, B.C. 

The three year probation sentence involves many conditions including consent to inspection of devices at any given moment, no consumption intoxicating substances, as well as no contact direct or indirect with sex trade workers.

In 2017, the remains of 18 year-old Traci Genereaux were uncovered at the Sagmoen farm where Curtis and his parents currently reside. No charges have been laid in that case.

In a separate case in 2019, Sagmoen was found guilty of three charges involving a woman who came to the property to provide “companion” services. She testified that when she arrived at the property Sagmoen jumped out of the bushes with a gun. He was convicted of disguising his face with intent to commit an offence, use of a firearm during an offence and possession of a controlled substance.

Rally against Curtis Sagmoen in Vernon, BC
‘Police on Property, Sagmoen Farm’, woman holding a sign to raise awareness about the history of police presence on the farm, showing pictures of the farm and investigation involving the remains of Traci Genereaux found on the farm in 2017. Photo by Kelsie Kilawna

On Oct. 21, 2020, the RCMP released a public warning to sex trade workers after a rise in suspicious activity near the farm was being circulated on private Facebook groups in the area.

“Police are warning any person involved in the sex trade not respond to any requests for their services, and not engage in any activity, in the Salmon River Road area,” the release states. 

The release shared that Sagmoen’s probation conditions include not having “contact in any way with any sex trade worker, escort, or person offering paid dating or companion services.” 

“In the interest of safety, we are releasing a photo of Sagmoen. We are requesting anyone who receives a request for sex related services in the area of Salmon River Road, not attend the area, and contact police immediately,” shared Cst. Terleski, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP in the release.

Those who rallied today say they intend on returning for Sagmoen’s arraignment hearing in February.


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