Man accused of assaulting women pleads guilty after charge reduced - InfoNews

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Man accused of assaulting women pleads guilty after charge reduced

February 04, 2019 - 5:36 PM

PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. - A man who faces a series of charges including alleged assaults of escorts in British Columbia's North Okanagan has pleaded guilty to assault in an unrelated incident involving a sex worker in Maple Ridge in 2013.

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen was initially charged with assault causing bodily harm but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge Monday in provincial court in Port Coquitlam.

The trial was scheduled for five days but was shortened to a day when Crown prosecutor Juan O'Quinn and defence lawyer Lisa Jean Helps made a joint submission agreeing to the guilty plea on the lesser charge and a recommended sentence.

Court heard that on Jan. 6, 2013, Sagmoen contacted the woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, in response to an advertisement posted online for massage escort services.

She arrived at a townhouse in Maple Ridge that Helps said Sagmoen shared with his brother.

Sagmoen and the woman had a dispute over money, which resulted in an injury to the back of her head. She ran away and Sagmoen followed her, but the dispute was overheard by a neighbour who called the police, court heard.

At the time of the incident, court heard that Sagmoen was addicted to crystal methamphetamine.

Helps said Sagmoen, 38, has no criminal record and works as a pipefitter.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years' probation but his jail time is considered already served because he remains in custody on the separate allegations. His conditions include keeping the peace, good behaviour and having no contact with the victim.

"I'm satisfied that the joint submission presented to me is an appropriate sentence and would meet the principles of denunciation and deterrence that I'm required to give considerable consideration to in crafting a sentence, as well as the principle of rehabilitation," Judge Robin McQuillan said.

Sagmoen faces a series of other charges including assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon, but none of the allegations in those cases have been tested in court.

Police have said the alleged victims worked as escorts in the North Okanagan and advertised their services online.

When Sagmoen was first charged in October 2017, police issued a warning to the general public and sex workers to take extra precautions for their safety around Salmon River Road in a rural area north of Vernon.

It's the same area where police uncovered the remains of missing 18-year-old Traci Genereaux while searching a 10-hectare farm in the North Okanagan that a title search shows belongs to Wayne and Evelyn Sagmoen.

Sagmoen's lawyer told provincial court Monday that he lives at the same address where the search occurred with his parents when he is not incarcerated.

At the time, police said Genereaux's death was suspicious but they have not released a cause of death. No charges have been laid in the Genereaux case and police have not named a suspect.

Police have not made a link between the search and the public warning issued in October 2017.

In December, Sagmoen was given an absolute discharge in a separate case in Vernon after pleading guilty to a single count of mischief. The discharge means no conviction was placed on his record.

He was originally accused of mischief under $5,000 for wilfully placing spikes or nails on a spike belt to damage the tires of a vehicle before pleading guilty to the lesser offence.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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