Curtis Sagmoen can be seen leaving the courthouse in Vernon following Day 2 of his trial on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Curtis Sagmoen can be seen leaving the courthouse in Vernon following Day 2 of his trial on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Crown delves into Sagmoen’s history with North Okanagan sex workers

Decision on validity of police search warrant will be made on Monday, Dec. 9

The second day of the trial of Curtis Sagmoen yielded more submissions by Crown and the defence counsel, but no decision.

Sagmoen, 38, is accused of threatening a sex worker at gunpoint near Falkland in August 2017. In October of that year the remains of Traci Genereaux were found on the Sagmoen family’s property on Salmon River Road. No charges have been laid in relation to her death.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps spent the majority of Thursday arguing the warrant police used to search Sagmoen’s family property had been obtained on unreasonable grounds. On Friday in BC Supreme Court in Vernon, Crown lawyer Simone McCallum challenged that position by arguing the warrant’s legitimacy.

“There’s ample evidence on which this warrant could have been issued,” McCallum said.

While there was no “smoking gun” police could use as a basis for the warrant, McCallum said, there were enough “breadcrumbs” to legitimize the police search.

READ MORE: Year in jail for ex-Vernon Judo coach for child porn

READ MORE: RCMP searching for missing Kamloops woman

She reminded the court of a legal principle.

“The standard for issuing a search warrant is credibly based on probability, and that is not the same as proof beyond reasonable doubt,” she said. “The determination is always practical, it’s always common sense, it’s always non-technical, it’s always on a totality of the circumstances.”

McCallum laid out the circumstances before Justice Alison Beames as she neared the end of her submission.

“We have, here, an alleged offence against a female advertising escort service,” she said.

She recounted Sagmoen had arranged a meeting with an unnamed person late at night near the place where he resided near Salmon River Road, and where the complainant said she’d been threatened. Sagmoen had an acknowledged history of contact with sex workers and had a licence for a firearm, she said.

On that history, McCallum first pointed to an incident on Jan. 6, 2013, when Sagmoen was the suspect in an assault of a sex worker in Maple Ridge.

McCallum then constructed a timeline much closer to the August 2017 event. In one circumstance, Sagmoen’s neighbour said he had been threatened late at night by a woman with a knife, demanding money she claimed she was owed. McCallum said this was not the only account of a woman coming to Sagmoen’s property demanding money, without knowing his name, exact address or precise appearance. Moreover, these women were often clad in heels and short skirts.

The accounts of these women and the circumstances in which they appeared in the area “screams of sex trade work,” McCallum said.

The Crown went on to say the information amassed in terms of connecting Sagmoen as a resident of the property in question was “substantial,” and when combined with Sagmoen’s alleged history of calling sex workers, the information was enough to make the warrant valid.

The trial will resume Monday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m., when Justice Beames will make her decision on the validity of the warrrant. If Beames sides with the Crown, Helps will enter into a cross-examination with the police constable involved with the warrant.


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Missy MacKintosh, founder of MisMacK Clean Cosmetics, smiles broadly beneath her mask as she is thrilled to have opened her new storefront location at 231 Alexander St. in Salmon Arm on April 10, 2021. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Downtown Salmon Arm store ‘a dream come true’ for clean cosmetics owner

Missy MacKintosh’s MisMack Clean Cosmetics moves from home basement to storefront

In a feature article published April 10, 2021 in The Times of London, ‘headlined British Columbia has what it takes to rival Napa Valley,’ the valley is praised extensively for its natural beauty and wine. (File photo)
From the U.K. with love: Okanagan wine, scenery receives international praise

The Times of London newspaper recently featured the valley in a wine and travel piece

The future of the Eagle Pass Lookout cabin is being discussed. (File photo)
Options presented for future of former Eagle Pass fire lookout in Shuswap

Stakeholders met in 2020 to discuss the restoration, or possible removal of the cabin

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society will be expanding its offerings to seniors this year and hopes to return its Cyber Seniors program when one-to-one training is once again allowed. (Photo contributed)
Shuswap organization aims to help seniors become more cyber savvy

BC Hydro report finds seniors reluctant to use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Marylou Jensen. (Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP searching for missing senior

Marylou Jensen left her Grenfell Road home on foot at 5 p.m.

A dumpster was on fire behind a residential complex in downtown Penticton Tuesday afternoon. (Brennan Phillips Western News)
Dumpster fire extinguished in downtown Penticton

There has been a string of dumpster fires lately

Skogie’s Express Tunnel Wash on Anderson Way in Vernon. (Submitted photo)
Lawsuit dismissed after vehicle damaged while inside Okanagan car wash

Civil Resolution Tribunal dismisses driver’s claim following a collision inside Skogie’s car wash in Vernon

(Mayor Cindy Fortin - Peachland)
Peachland mayor declines early vaccination offer

Mayor Cindy Fortin said she wants seniors, immunocompromised individuals to get the shot first

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021. (Kamloops This Week photo)
Clothing that ‘detracts from learning process’ removed from SD73 student dress code

Policy change underway after student in knee-length dress, long-sleeve turtleneck sent home

Conservation officers caught three men over fishing bull trout in Kinbasket Lake. (Facebook)
B.C. men fined $1.7K for overfishing near Revelstoke, Golden

The seized fish were donated to the Golden Food Bank

A shop up on Grand Oro Road near Twin Lakes burned down on Monday. (Facebook)
Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The building was destroyed despite community efforts to fight the fire

Most Read