This week, on June 6, 2024, Curtis Sagmoen is due to appear in Kamloops Law Courts, charged with two counts of possession of a firearm contrary to an order.

Curtis Sagmoen, of Vernon BC, has an extensive history of violence against sex workers and Indigenous women and girls – the case raises the familiar questions about systemic racism and sexism in police investigations that have been asked so many times before.

Below is a timeline of Sagmoen’s prolific violence against women, as well as the continued inadequacy of the justice and policing systems.


2013: Sagmoen assaults a woman with a hammer in Maple Ridge

May 2017: Traci Genereaux vanishes from the Syilx territory in Vernon BC.

July 19, 2017: Sagmoen uses a homemade spike belt to damage the tires of a woman’s vehicle.

August 10, 2017: Sagmoen assaults a woman using an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

  • The victim, a sex worker whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was attacked by Sagmoen. The victim had gone to Sagmoen’s property to provide her services however, when he failed to pay, she attempted to leave the property.
  • With her back turned, Sagmoen hit the victim with his ATV causing her to flip over the vehicle.
  • The victim suffered a broken tail bone, concussion, and multiple other injuries, including long-term emotional trauma.

August 27, 2017: Sagmoen threatens a woman at gun point.

  • Sagmoen had contacted the victim, a sex worker, and told her to meet him at a location south of Salmon Arm BC.
  • The victim had been instructed by Sagmoen to drive down a rural road to an address. At trial, the Court heard how Sagmoen then ambushed the victim, pointing a firearm through the driver’s side window of the victim’s car.
  • Attempting to drive away, the victim crashed her car and was forced to flee on foot.
  • The police investigation found a shotgun slug lodged in the victim’s front driver side tire, as well as multiple shotgun shells in Sagmoen’s truck.

October 20, 2017: Sagmoen is arrested and charged with 7 offences in relation to the August 27, 2017 incident:

  • Reckless discharge of a firearm s.244.2
  • Uttering threats s.264.1
  • Using a firearm in the commission of an offence s.85
  • Having his face masked with intent to commit an offence s.351(2)
  • Pointing a firearm s.87
  • Possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose s.88
  • Careless use of a firearm s.86

October 21, 2017: Vernon RCMP Southeast District Major Crimes Unit begins searching the Sagmoen 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.
  • The basis for the search warrant remains unclear.
  • The investigation found human remains.

November 1, 2017: RCMP confirms that human remains found on Sagmoen’s farm are those of Traci Genereaux.

  • The death is considered suspicious by police, however Sagmoen is not named a suspect – no charges have been made in relation to the teenager’s death.
  • Police have not released any cause of death.

November 2018: Sagmoen’s bail application denied, he remained in custody until trial.

December 2018: Sagmoen receives absolute discharge in relation to mischief charges.

  • Sagmoen had originally been charged with mischief under $5000 in relation to the spike belt incident on July 19, 2017.
  • Following a joint submission from Crown counsel and defence lawyers, a judge agreed to discharge Sagmoen’s record.
  • Despite Sagmoen’s guilty plea of mischief to property, no conviction will be entered onto his record.

February 2019: Sagmoen is convicted of assaulting a woman in Maple Ridge in 2013.

  • Sagmoen entered a guilty plea in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court for the lesser offence of assault, having originally been charged with assault causing bodily harm.
  • Sagmoen was sentenced to 30 days in jail, time he had already served, and 24 months of probation.

December 2019: Sagmoen is found guilty of offences related to the August 27, 2017 incident.

  • A BC Supreme Court Judge found Sagmoen guilty of wearing a mask with intent to commit an indictable offence, and the use of a firearm in an indictable offence.
  • The Judge held there was not enough evidence to find Sagmoen guilty of knowingly threatening to cause death or bodily harm.
  • Sagmoen was sentenced to 2 years less a day in jail to allow for probation.
  • Having already been in custody for two years and two months without a sentence by the time this sentence was handed down, Sagmoen had already served his time for these offences.
  • Sagmoen was also sentenced to 36 months of probation with conditions, including no contact with sex workers; a ban on internet use for escort sites; a ban on ownership, and relinquishment, of his firearms to RCMP.

February 2020: Sagmoen is convicted of assault causing bodily harm in relation to the August 10, 2017 incident.

June 2020: Sagmoen is sentenced to 5 months in jail and 3 years of probation following the February conviction.

  • The probation includes a ten-year firearm ban, a no contact with sex workers order, and limitation on Sagmoen’s use of the internet and phone.

October 21, 2020: Vernon North Okanagan RCMP asks all sex workers not to respond to requests for services in the Salmon River Road area.

  • RCMP released a photograph of Sagmoen, along with the warning which was made “in the interest of safety.”
  • RCMP said it made the release “to inform persons who are protected by the court-ordered condition, so that they can take steps to protect themselves.”

April 11, 2022: RCMP renew the warning to sex workers.

April 26, 2022: Sagmoen breached his probation order by possessing drugs, using a mobile communication device, and communicating with a sex worker. Sagmoen was arrested and released from custody on April 27.

April 28, 2022: Sagmoen was stopped by an officer in Vernon. A search revealed another, probation order defying, mobile phone. Sagmoen was arrested again and held in custody until May 2022 when he was released on bail.

June 27, 2023: Sagmoen pleads guilty to breaching four of the probation conditions imposed on him following the August 10, 2017 assault.

December 13, 2023: Sagmoen was sentenced to 60 days in custody following conviction for two breaches of his probation order.

  • Provincial court Judge Hewson stated the issue with sentencing was about balancing “rehabilitation with the principles of deterrence and denunciation.”

April 10, 2024: the court granted Sagmoen’s application to vary certain terms of his probation order. The changes allow Sagmoen to contact various professionals and for his probation officer to give permission for him to deal with certain legal proceedings.

  • However, access to this information through Court Services Online is limited due to an outstanding publication ban ordered on May 4, 2022.

April 18, 2024: following an incident in Kamloops, Sagmoen is charged with two counts of possessing a firearm or ammunition contrary to an order.

  • Sagmoen is not being held in custody.
  • Sagmoen’s next court appearance for this matter is scheduled for June 6, 2024.

Systemic Mistrust

When sentencing Sagmoen in December 2019, Justice Beames labelled Sagmoen’s offences as “very serious. They are unprovoked, premeditated, almost inexplicable – the ambush of a sex trade worker.” She is certainly not wrong. However, acknowledging the severity of the crimes therefore begs the question: why is the justice system so determined to be lenient in its punishment of prolific violence against women?

Sagmoen continues to show blatant disregard for the probation orders imposed upon him. When sentencing Sagmoen for multiple counts of violating probation orders in April 2022, Provincial court Judge Hewson conducted a balancing act worth considering here. Hewson considered factors such as the assistance Sagmoen provides his parents and brother – all of whom suffer from health challenges, as well as the fact Sagmoen has undertaken counselling and treatment for addiction. On the other hand, Hewson addressed the importance of an effective judicial system by respect for its orders and the public protection they purportedly offer. Ultimately, Hewson sentenced Sagmoen to 30 days for each of the three April 26 infractions, and 45 days for the April 28 offence. Following release, Sagmoen would be under another two-year probation order.

However, once again Sagmoen violated these probation orders and is currently facing new charges relating to breaches of probation orders. The Court’s idealistic use of probation orders is not working, Sagmoen is a repeat offender and the people who remain in danger are women. Furthermore, the RCMP’s repeated releases warning sex workers to stay away from Sagmoen indicate the lack of faith law enforcement has in the probation no-contact orders Sagmoen is subject to. There appears to be a level of suspicion that Sagmoen will continue to breach his orders, a suspicion strong enough to warrant multiple warnings to the public. The onus seems to have been placed on sex workers to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. In a move that has undertones of victim blaming, the RCMP warnings raise familiar concerns about how the police treats sex workers, and in particular sex workers who are the victims of violence.

Furthermore, Traci Genereaux is just one of five women who went missing from the Salmon River Valley and nearby towns between 2016 and 2017 – within a mere 18-month period. Whilst the ex-partner of one of these women, Ashley Simpson, was eventually convicted of her murder – no answers nor justice have been provided for the families of Deanna Wertz, Caitlin Potts, Nicole Bell and Traci Genereaux.

The RCMP’s repeated failures in investigating the disappearances of women and girls, in particular Indigenous women and girls, are not a new phenomenon. Instead, the slow and secretive investigations into missing and murdered women and girls, is an ongoing symptom of systemic racism and sexism in the police.

Sagmoen’s case bares some striking resemblance to that of notorious BC serial killer Robert Pickton. Picking up most of his victims from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, with most of his victims operating as sex workers and a disproportionate number of his victims being Indigenous, Pickton was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2007. However, the total number of his victims is likely much higher since the remains or DNA of 33 women were found on his farm.

In the aftermath of notorious serial killer Robert Pickton, the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry was ordered. Titled Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, the Commission which was led by Wally Oppal exposed systemic failings in both the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP: “I have found that the missing and murdered women were forsaken twice: once by society at large and again by the police.” Additionally, the Report called for prevention of violence against Indigenous women and girls to be made a priority since the Report found “Aboriginal women experience higher levels of violence in terms of both incidence and severity and are disproportionately represented in the number of missing and murdered women across Canada.”

This month marks five years since the Prime Minister was presented with the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In Canada, Indigenous women are twelve times more likely to be murdered or missing than non-Indigenous women – the risk only increases where Indigenous women are also sex-workers. Despite the Report concluding that the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls crisis amounts to genocide, we are still awaiting meaningful systemic change. There is a deep-rooted mistrust in the police by Indigenous sex workers, with studies attributing this to intergenerational trauma and ongoing colonialization.

Despite these reports and undeniable statistics, the case of Curtis Sagmoen leaves many questions of accountability and responsibility unanswered: will we ever see systemic change in action? With the lenient sentencing and inadequate investigations evidenced by the Sagmoen case, is it any wonder there is profound mistrust in the justice system among Indigenous women and sex workers?

Previous blogs about Curtis Sagmoen and the effort to hold him accountable while highlight systemic failures:

Advocacy and Accountability: The Effort for Justice

She was a “known Surrey prostitute with an extensive criminal record”

Rallies Calling for Justice