Curtis Sagmoen had history of calling sex workers to his North Okanagan home: lawyer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Curtis Sagmoen had history of calling sex workers to his North Okanagan home: lawyer

Curtis Sagmoen leaves the Vernon courthouse today, Sept. 9.
December 06, 2019 - 2:31 PM

In the months running up to when Curtis Sagmoen allegedly pointed a gun at a sex worker, several cars full of people turned up in the area near his rural North Okanagan property, looking for him and telling his neighbours he owed them money.

The details were heard in the Vernon courthouse today, Dec. 6, on the second day of the resumption of Sagmoen's ongoing high-profile court case. Sagmoen is standing trial for charges related to an incident where he allegedly masked his face and pointed a gun at a sex worker in August 2017.

Crown lawyer Simone McCallum relayed the stories in court defending the RCMP's application for a search warrant.

Less than two months after the incident, the remains of Tracy Genereaux's body were found on Sagmoen's family's Salmon River Road property. No charges have been laid in the case, although court documents do say Sagmoen is the subject of two other investigations, one which is a murder investigation.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps argued the search warrant police used to search Sagmoen's rural Salmon River Road property should not have been issued and was purposely drafted to "mislead" the issuing judge.

Helps' argument stated police did not have enough evidence to link Sagmoen to the property, police lacked a proper physical description of Sagmoen, and much of the information contained in the application submitted for a search warrant was based on "small-town rumours" and hearsay.

Crown counsel rebutted the defence lawyer's arguments today in court, giving detailed information about visits to the property by sex workers.

In one case, Sagmoen's neighbour was woken up late at night by a woman who threatened him with a knife demanding money. The court heard how on several occasions Sagmoen is alleged to have requested prostitutes to his property, not told them the exact address or his name and not met up with them. The women, returning in vehicles with males, demanded money for their time.

McCallum said the women were often dressed in short shirts and high heels, which was not appropriate clothing for a rural area. In each case, Sagmoen had not given the actual address, but that of a shared driveway, and had not given his name.

"This screams sex trade work," McCallum said.

The court heard how in March 2017 Sagmoen told police he was being extorted by a woman who said he owed her $300. Sagmoen had met the woman when he saw her walking with a gas can in the area. He'd given her a lift and they'd "hung out a few times." The woman, who liked smoking meth, was "always broke" and on welfare. Sagmoen had told police his preference was cocaine, which he did "once in a while" as his job conducted random drug tests.

It is unclear why Sagmoen was talking to police at this time and what investigation was taking place. During these conversations with police Sagmoen had admitted to using prostitutes.

McCallum pointed to these facts as a reason why the search warrant is valid.

The defence had pointed out there was not enough evidence in the application for a warrant tying Sagmoen to the property. McCullam disputed this, referencing several times a conversation between police and Sagmoen's mother, where she said he was away but would be back home. McCallum admitted the physical description of Sagmoen was lacking in detail, but this didn't take away from the multitude of other factors that drew the correlation which justified a warrant being issued.

While the defence had argued the search warrant application was a "fishing expedition" the Crown argued many "breadcrumbs" of evidence painted a fuller picture.

Justice Alison Beames told the court she would make her decision on the validity of the warrant Dec. 9. Lawyers from both parties confirmed if they are unsuccessful they will challenge the result.

Helps' stated if unsuccessful she would apply to cross-examine the witnesses involved. The Crown said it had arguments pointing out this was the second warrant issued within a few days following the September 2017 incident.

The trial is set to continue Dec. 9.

For more stories on Curtis Sagmoen go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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