#MMIWG protesters demonstrated at the Vernon courthouse April 8, 2021, ahead of Curtis Sagmoen’s police assault charge going before a judge. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)

#MMIWG protesters demonstrated at the Vernon courthouse April 8, 2021, ahead of Curtis Sagmoen’s police assault charge going before a judge. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)

UPDATE: Warrant for Sagmoen’s arrest rescinded

High-profile North Okanagan man charged with assaulting police officer in October

UPDATE: 2:50 p.m.

The arrest warrant issued for Curtis Sagmoen has been rescinded, according to Crown communications counsel Dan McLaughlin.

Sagmoen’s lawyer, Lisa Helps, made an appearance Thursday afternoon and the arraignment hearing has been rescheduled for April 22.

Original:

Prominent Indigenous rights activists joined dozens of protesters who returned to the Vernon courthouse Thursday calling for justice for lost sisters, while a 107-day-old matter came before a judge once again involving Curtis Wayne Sagmoen, a high-profile North Okanagan man.

This time, because his lawyer failed to appear for the latest in a series of postponed arraignment hearings, a warrant has been put out for Sagmoen’s arrest.

Sagmoen was expected to enter a plea for an assault charge April 8 involving a peace officer stemming from an Oct. 29, 2020, incident near Falkland.

The incident coincided with a police search warrant at Sagmoen’s place of residence on his parent’s Salmon River Road property.

Earlier that month, police had visited the farm after an alert of suspicious activity. At that time, RCMP released a photo of Sagmoen — who is notorious for crimes against sex trade workers — and issued a warning in the interest of public safety.

The matter has been delayed several times since Sagmoen’s first arraignment hearing date Feb. 11, 2021.

The reasons behind the delays are linked to scheduling conflicts between defence and Crown and reviewing the disclosure — which allows the accused to see the case against them before making a more informed plea.

Activists placed photographs of missing women and posters demanding justice on the lawn of the Vernon courthouse.

Gladys Radek travelled from afar in a car plastered with posters to join the gathering on the courthouse lawn. She is among the activists who helped draw initial attention to the Highway of Tears, a corridor from Prince George to Prince Rupert that has been a locus of missing and murdered woman and girls for more than 50 years.

“My job is to help the families, and I’m here for the families to support them,” Radek told Black Press Media.

A Gitxsan/Wet’suwet’en First Nations woman, Radek said the delays in Sagmoen’s hearing reflect a broader trend in cases of missing and murdered women and girls, pointing to the national inquiry that concluded two years ago and the many women who have gone missing since the inquiry’s final report.

“It’s a waiting game with the justice system.”

Radek was echoed by Chief Judy Wilson, an executive member of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), who has paid many visits to the Vernon courthouse in support of family members of lost girls.

“We really need to look at what the issues are, why it’s being delayed,” Wilson said Thursday. “And why the legalities of this case are not coming together. There needs to be more accountability to all on that.

“We really need to have this dealt with in a way that brings closure for these families. There’s no closure when there’s no accountability.”

Sagmoen has a history of assault against women working in the sex industry.

He was found guilty for disguising himself and threatening a sex trade worker with a shotgun Dec. 20, 2019, but was given time served and 36 months probation.

Two months later, he was found guilty for hitting a different woman in the industry with an ATV so hard her shoes flew off in an Aug. 10, 2017, incident.

He was sentenced to five months jail time on June 19, 2020, but was again credited with time served and walked free with 36 months of probation.

His probation order bans him from drug and alcohol use, accessing websites advertising escort or dating services, having more than one cellphone number and leaving the province without permission from his bail supervisor.

Sagmoen is ordered to reside at his family property on Salmon River Road as per his probation and has a 10-year weapons ban.

The 10-hectare family farm became the subject of an extensive police search Oct. 19, 2017, and the remains of missing 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were found.

Although her death was deemed suspicious, no charges have been laid.

At the time five women – Caitlin Potts, Ashley Simpson, Deanna Wertz, Generaux and Nicole Bell – were missing from the North Okanagan area. 

While COVID-19 has inhibited protesters from coming out in full force, Wilson said many are staying active online and on social media.

Like Wilson and Radek, they’re there to support the families that are still looking for closure.

“The families are devastated. I can’t imagine not knowing where my daughter or my sister or aunt or mother was, all these years,” Wilson said. “I couldn’t imagine the pain.”

– with Black Press files

READ MORE: Sagmoen cop assault matter postponed again

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Protests renewed as Sagmoen assault charge comes before Vernon court


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CourtMMIWGRCMP

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

Just Posted

South Shuswap. (Google Maps)
CSRD to ask school trustees to delay decision on Salmon Arm high school options

South Shuswap director advocating for Sorrento high school option

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)
Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

Mervin Mascarenhas giving one of his pens to Honorary JP-MP. Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (Image: Mervin Mascarenhas)
Kelowna man who made $90K ‘Space Pen’ recognized by dignitaries, sheikhs

Mervin Mascarenhas is the first Canadian to grace the cover of Millennium Millionaire Magazine

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Most Read