Curtis Sagmoen’s attempt to appeal his conviction has failed after a judge’s decision for denial was released Oct. 1.
The North Okanagan man was found guilty in 2020 of assault and causing bodily harm after running over a sex trade worker with an ATV in an August 2017 incident. Sagmoen was credited with time served and issued 36 months probation.
The victim, whose name is protected in a publication ban, said she was struck so hard her shoes flew off and she misplaced her car keys. She suffered a concussion, fractured tailbone and road rash among other injuries.
The woman said she had gone to the Sagmoen family farm on Salmon River Road — which is where the human remains of 18-year-old Traci Generaux were uncovered shortly after this incident — to go on a three- or four-hour date. After going for a ride with him on the property on an ATV, she testified she felt uneasy and asked to be returned to her vehicle.
She told the court Sagmoen appeared to be pretending the ATV would not start. She told him she would walk back down the hill. That’s when he plowed into her with the vehicle.
In his appeal, Sagmoen challenges the ruling by stating the judge failed to consider if he struck the woman by accident and failed to assess out-of-court statements supportive of that defence.
Justice Gregory Fitch dismissed the appeal based on the essential evidence provided in the trial.
If Sagmoen didn’t mean to hit the woman, the ruling reads, he should have helped her find her keys and ask if she was OK.
The woman said she found her keys and when she returned to her vehicle, which was stuck in the sand, Sagmoen followed on his quad and repeated “I didn’t mean to do that” several times.
His defence said his questioning is evidence that this incident was, indeed, accidental. Justice Fitch said otherwise.
“I am left with no reasonable doubt that the accused was fully aware of the particular circumstances,” the decision reads. “He likely became angry because (the woman) began walking back to her car such that whatever plans (Sagmoen) had for her that day were about to be thwarted.
“He drove his quad at a high rate of speed directly at the complainant when she had her back to his oncoming vehicle,” it continues. “I find the accused guilty as charged.”
Justice Finch writes that both submissions for appeal are closely related and decided the trial judge did not err in determining Sagmoen intentionally struck the woman beyond a reasonable doubt.
“In my view, the appellant has not established error in the application of the burden or standard of proof. I would not give effect to this ground of appeal.,” Justice Fitch wrote.