The trial of Curtis Sagmoen heard the final submissions from defence and Crown on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 at the Vernon Law Courts. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen heard the final submissions from defence and Crown on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 at the Vernon Law Courts. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Sagmoen trial awaits judge’s decision

Crown’s case hinges on circumstantial evidence regarding Sagmoen’s identity

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen is nearing its conclusion as Crown and defence made their final submissions in BC Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Sagmoen is accused of having threatened a sex trade worker with a firearm while wearing a mask at his family’s Salmon River Road property in August 2017. On Tuesday, the court heard from the alleged victim and complainant in the trial, who recounted the incident before the court.

The complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, described a night that saw her drive to Salmon River Road to meet with a person who had responded to an ad for her escort service by text. After a series of events that have been discussed in minute detail in previous trial hearings, she ultimately ended up running barefoot in fear for her life after being approached by a man with a shotgun and a concealed face.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps had no intention of denying that it was her client who texted the complainant asking her to meet him on Salmon River Road for a “playdate” in August 2017.

“I’m not going to be arguing that there’s no link between Curtis Sagmoen and the person texting the complainant. In fact, I think that that has been well established.”

Instead, her focus was on whether Sagmoen was, beyond reasonable doubt, the masked assailant. She argued that complaints of theft from neighbours around the time of the offence indicated there was more suspicious activity in the area than the Crown was conceding.

Crown attorney Simone McCallum was direct in arguing there could be no other reasonable inference than that Sagmoen — a man with a documented history of having contact with sex workers, who was familiar with the property and had experience with firearms — was the assailant.

McCallum reminded the court of the complainant’s description of her assailant, who she said emerged from the bushes as she pulled up to a closed gate at the property.

“That has all the hallmarks of somebody who is expecting their target to arrive,” she said.

“The rational inference here, as I said at the beginning, is that (the complainant’s) assailant is her customer. And her customer was Mr. Sagmoen.”

McCallum conceded that the complainant’s testimony did not provide much in the way of identifying Sagmoen. The incident had taken place around 11:30 p.m., and the complainant said she had been unable to see much of anything in the dark.

With no smoking gun in terms of a clear identification of Sagmoen at the scene, the Crown’s case will hinge on circumstantial evidence.

“The Crown must point the court to other circumstantial indications of identity,” McCallum said.

Justice Alison Beames will make her decision and state her reasons on Friday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m.

READ MORE: Threats charge dropped in Curtis Sagmoen trial

READ MORE: Man gets 15 months in jail for B.C. toddler’s snake-venom death


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

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

Just Posted

Barbara Bernard and Bob Spracklin have brought Poo Worx to Salmon Arm with help from their mentor from the Poo Worx business in Kelowna. The business provides dog poop pickup and related services. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Poo Worx dog poop pickup business opens in Salmon Arm

Canine feces, goose poop, company offers a variety of services

The BC SPCA Shuswap Branch announced Captain and Maria had been adopted together on Feb. 28, 2021. (BC SPCA Shuswap Branch photo)
Shuswap BC SPCA’s inseperable pair of akbash dogs given home

Staff and volunteers happy to see Captain and Maria adopted together

The District of Sicamous got behind a UBCM resolution which would keep loggers off managed snowmobile trails in the winter. (File photo)
Sicamous, snowmobile club want to keep loggers off sled trails in the winter

Resolution going to UBCM asking that recreational use be given priority in peak snowmobile season

Two semis sideswiped each other after one crossed a double-solid line on the Trans-Canada Highway in Craigellachie on March 2. (Sicamous RCMP image)
Head-on crash avoided by inches as semi trucks side swipe east of Sicamous

Police say a westbound semi truck crossed the double-solid line. Its driver was ticketed.

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared the Lumby RCMP of any wrongdoing after a missing person was found deceased in December 2020. (IIO photo)
Police watchdog says North Okanagan RCMP played no role in missing person’s death

The body was found by a family member shortly after the RCMP suspended their search

The area on Cordova Bay Road where ancestral human remains were discovered Feb. 22. (Submitted photo)
Human remains discovery a reminder of B.C. Indigenous culture dug up and displaced

‘These are the people who inspired and birthed the generations that we now have here’

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Photos: Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

HOPE Okanagan’s Stay at Home Gala will raise funds to help serve Kelowna and Vernon’s vulnerable. (HOPE Okanagan)
Non-profit hosts virtual gala to support Okanagan’s vulnerable

HOPE Okanagan wants to raise awareness and support for those struggling in the streets

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

An off-duty Vernon Taxi driver got a 24-hour licence suspension, vehicle towed, after failing a standardized field sobriety test around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (John E Green - Facebook)
Vernon Taxi towed after driver suspected impaired

Off-duty cab towed from McDonald’s drive-thru early Tuesday morning

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

Most Read