This week, Feb 4-8, 2019, we are rallying at the trial of Curtis Sagmoen. Curtis Sagmoen has a long history of violence against women – in particular women who do sex work – and this trial wouldn’t have happened at all if it wasn’t for the advocacy of Jody Leon and Ida Manuel.
Furthermore, DNA of a missing woman, 18-year-old Traci Genereaux was found on this family farm and of four other women who have gone missing in the area over the past three years: Deanna Wertz, Ashley Simpson, Caitlin Potts and Nicole Bell. Sagmoen has not been charged in connection with the remains on the farm despite his long history of violence against women.
Join us this week as we rally together at the Port Coquitlam Court demanding justice!
If you are unable to join but want to support women from Secwepmec Territory to attend, please make a donation here.
BWSS has created a timeline of Sagmoen’s activity since 2002, illustrating his ongoing history of violence against women.
June 2002: Sagmoen is stopped twice by police for driving infractions. Two weeks later he is charged with driving an uninsured vehicle or trailer.
May 2004: Sagmoen family (parents and three brothers) buy the farm near Salmon Arm.
2007: Ownership of the farm is transferred to the parents, Evelyn and Wayne Sagmoen. Curtis Sagmoen buys his own condo in Maple Ridge.
September 2009: Sagmoen is convicted of driving without reasonable consideration and pays a $1000 fine.
2013: Property records show that Sagmoen lived in a townhouse in Maple Ridge until 2013. Two assaults against women occur on a trail near this townhouse in 2013.
January 2013: Neighbors report hearing a woman screaming for help while fighting with Sagmoen in a common area in the townhouse complex. Reports indicate she was lying on the ground, he was on top of her, and she was bleeding and screaming. The female victim (a sex-worker) tells police that Sagmoen hit her with a hammer. She refuses to provide a statement to the police or let an officer view her injuries. Due to her refusal to press charges, the case is marked as “unsubstantiated” and the RCMP report is not sent to Crown counsel. No charges are laid. An officer searches Sagmoen’s residence but does not find a bloody hammer.
February 22, 2016: Caitlin Potts is last in contact with her family. Police believe she vanished from the South Okanagan as she had strong connections to the communities of Salmon Arm, Enderby, and Armstrong.
April 30, 2016: Ashley Simpson reported missing. She had been living on Yankee Flats Road, a rural street that runs parallel to Salmon River road, where Sagmoen’s farm is located.
July 19, 2016: Deanna Wertz leaves her home for a walk in the nearby woods and never returns home. Wertz lived across the street from Simpson.
July 31, 2016: Sagmoen receives a ticket in Terrace for illegal fishing.
May 29, 2017: Traci Genereaux vanishes from Vernon. Robert Zimmerman, a friend of Genereaux’s reports that he saw her talking to the driver of a white service van in an alley near the old bottle depot. Legal documents indicate that Sagmoen was in Vernon the same day Genereaux vanished because he was charged with several vehicle infractions there.
June 9, 2017: Genereaux is reported missing.
July 1, 2017: Sagmoen allegedly assaults a sex worker (incident not reported in the news until January 31, 2018).
August 28, 2017: Reports of an Okanagan man threatening a female sex-worker at gun point (shotgun). Vernon RCMP responds to the incident.
September 2, 2017: Nicole Bell is last seen.
September 5, 2017: Sagmoen is found in possession of methamphetamine.
October 13, 2017: Vernon RCMP report they are investigating the Aug 27 incident (Sagmoen suspect) and issue a warning about the incident to the public, specifically to sex workers.
October 20, 2017: Sagmoen is arrested and charged with seven offences: disguising face with intent to commit offence; intentionally discharging a firearm while reckless; pointing a firearm; uttering threats; careless use or storage of a firearm; possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose; and possession of a controlled substance.
October 21, 2017: Vernon RCMP Southeast District Major Crimes Unit begins searching Sagmoen’s family farm, located 25km south of Salmon Arm, on the basis of a search warrant (unclear what the basis for the search warrant is). Human remains are found and the search escalates.
October 22, 2017: CBC News reports that human remains have been found at Sagmoen’s family farm. RCMP Corporal Dan Moskaluk says that he cannot confirm why officers had a search warrant for the property, except that it was in relation to a criminal investigation.
October 23, 2017: Vancouver Sun reports that five women have gone missing between Vernon and Sicamous since February 2016 and that the police are searching a 75km stetch of land along Springbend Road (unclear what for but most likely in relation to the human remains found on Oct 22). Police are cautious not to link the search of Sagmoen’s farm with any of the missing women cases.
October 26, 2017: Sagmoen’s second appearance at the Vernon Provincial court via teleconference for a scheduled arraignment and bail hearing in relation to the Aug 28 incident. According to the Crown prosecutor, this hearing served as an update to Sagmoen’s file. Sagmoen’s counsel will decide whether to request bail during his next appearance in court on Nov 23. As of yet, Sagmoen has not been charged with any offences in relation to the human remains found at his family’s farm. Protesters gather outside the courthouse to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women.
November 1, 2017: The remains found at Sagmoen’s farm are found to belong to Traci Genereaux. Police call the death suspicious.
November 2, 2017: Vancouver Sun reports that Genereaux’s father had to make three missing person reports before the police would publicize her disappearance.
November 23, 2017: Sagmoen’s appears at the Vernon Provincial Court.
December 14, 2017: Sagmoen appears in court for a bail hearing but his lawyer requests a two-week adjournment. He remains in custody.
December 15, 2017: The Columbia Valley Pioneer reports that the RCMP is re-investigating the hammer assault that occurred in 2013.
January 11, 2018: Sagmoen appears in the Vernon Provincial Court via teleconference to face the Oct 20, 2017 charges in relation to the incident on August 27, 2017. He elects to be tried by Supreme Court judge alone should the case proceed to trial. A preliminary inquiry is set to be held to weigh the evidence. It is expected to take two days and six witnesses will testify. No pleas have been entered. Sagmoen’s next schedule court appearance is a bail hearing set for Jan 26. As of yet, no one has been charged in connection with Genereaux’s death.
January 31, 2018: New charges are filed against Sagmoen in relation to two separate assaults involving two different victims (both who advertised sex services online) that took place on July 1, 2017 and August 10, 2017, respectively. He is charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm. He is set to appear at the Vernon Provincial Court to face the new charges on Feb19.
February 28, 2018: Sagmoen is denied bail and is set to remain in custody. He will appear in Vernon Provincial court on Mar 8 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
CBC News (2018, January 31). Curtis Sagmoen charged with additional crimes against sex workers. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/curtis-wayne-sagmoen-charges-1.4513714
Corbett, N. (2017a, November 7). Maple Ridge links to teen’s body found in Interior. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News. https://www.mapleridgenews.com/news/maple-ridge-links-to-teens-body-found-in-interior/
Corbett, N. (2017b, December 15). Sagmoen neighbors recall alleged hammer attack. The Columbia Valley Pioneer. https://www.columbiavalleypioneer.com/news/sagmoen-neighbours-recall-alleged-hammer-attack-2/
Culbert, L., Bolan, K., & Eagland, N. (2017, November 6). Curtis Wayne Sagmoen: As RCMP search his parents’ farm, people who know him are speaking out. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/curtis-wayne-sagmoen-as-rcmp-search-his-parents-farm-people-who-know-him-are-speaking-out
Culbert, L., Brown, S., & Ip, S. (2017, October 23 / 2018, July 13). Fears rise as 5 women missing in B.C. area where human remains found. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/fears-rise-as-5-women-missing-in-b-c-area-where-human-remains-found
Culbert, L., & Eagland, N. (2017a, October 27). Father’s fears deepen over missing Okanagan teen; digging continues. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/fathers-fears-deepen-over-missing-okanagan-teen
Culbert, L., & Eagland, N. (2017b, November 2). Remains on Salmon Arm-area farm are those of missing teenager. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/remains-on-salmon-arm-area-farm-are-those-of-missing-teenager-2
Eagland, N. (2017, October 26). Sagmoen farm: Curtis Sagmoen makes second court appearance. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/sagmoen-farm-curtis-sagmoen-makes-second-court-appearance
Eagland, N., & Culbert, L. (2017, October 26). Details emerge about man linked to Salmon Arm farm body search. Vancouver Sun. https://vancouversun.com/news/crime/details-emerge-about-man-charged-over-sex-worker-threats-and-linked-to-salmon-arm-farm-body-search
Emmerik, K. V. (2018, February 28). Sagmoen will remain in custody following bail hearing in Vernon. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/4053235/all-eyes-on-bail-hearing-in-vernon/
Hughes, T. (2017, October 22). Who is Curtis Sagmoen?. Vernon Morning Star. Retrieved from https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/who-is-curtis-sagmoen/
Schmunk, R. (2017, October 22). Human remains found at rural Salmon Arm property as multiple searches continue. CBC News. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/human-remains-found-salmon-arm-1.4366374
Thom, S. (2018, January 11). Sagmoen faces firearms offences in court. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/3959510/sagmoen-faces-firearms-offences-in-court/
Woodward, J., & Miljure, B. (2017, December 14). Sagmoen connected to alleged Metro Vancouver sex worker: CTV investigation. CTV News. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/sagmoen-connected-to-alleged-metro-vancouver-hammer-attack-on-sex-worker-ctv-investigation-1.3722675