#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UPDATE: Warrant for Sagmoen’s arrest rescinded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The arrest warrant issued for Curtis Sagmoen has been rescinded, according to Crown communications counsel Dan McLaughlin.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

A 3 a.m. RV fire on Keremeos’ Main Street gave neighbours and early morning wake-up call. (Contributed)
RV engulfed in flames spreads to neighbouring camper in Keremeos

The occoupant of the RV was not home during the early morning fire

letter
LETTER: Do we want alcohol in all aspects of our lives?

Ask Pathways how that is working out for people, says letter writer

A controlled burn got underway at Crater Mountain on Sunday, with smoke seen in Keremeos and Hedley. (Submitted)
A controlled burn got underway at Crater Mountain on Sunday, with smoke seen in Keremeos and Hedley. (Submitted)
Smoke and fire visible from Highway 3 is a prescribed burn

The controlled burn on Crater Mountain is to help bighorn sheep habitat

The City of Penticton’s temporary permit expired at Victory Church. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton city staff recommend legal action against B.C. over shelter

City staff recommending to ask the Premier to intervene and to pursue legal action

Louise with another load of bottles for ALERT. This super volunteer helps ALERT in so many ways. (Submitted)
Meet Penticton super volunteer Louise Hivon

Louise spearheads ALERT’s recycling fundraising, collecting bottles from anyone, everywhere

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
Large police presence at Kamloops mall following alleged armed robbery

Police were called to a business near the mall about 12:45 p.m.

Size two avalanche on a cliff at Big White (Photo: Facebook/Big White Ski Resort)
‘Dangerous’ avalanche hits Big White Mountain

‘That’s a big avalanche — you don’t mess around with that’

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to target people ages 40+ in ‘high risk communities’ with AstraZeneca vaccine

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

(File photo)
Car runs light, hits van which smashes into Kamloops police car

The van then caught fire which was extinguished by a Kamloops Mountie

Most Read