PHOTOS: Protests renewed as Sagmoen assault charge comes before Vernon court

The front steps of the Vernon courthouse were lined with protestors calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in the North Okanagan Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)The front steps of the Vernon courthouse were lined with protestors calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in the North Okanagan Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
A protestor carries a drum beat over chants calling for justice for missing women at the Vernon courthouse Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)A protestor carries a drum beat over chants calling for justice for missing women at the Vernon courthouse Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
An RCMP officer walks to the Vernon courthouse entrance behind a group of protestors calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in the North Okanagan Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)An RCMP officer walks to the Vernon courthouse entrance behind a group of protestors calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in the North Okanagan Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

As Curtis Sagmoen’s name returned to the Vernon court list Thursday, so too did protesters return to the courthouse steps to call for justice for missing and murdered women in the local area.

Sagmoen, 40, was charged with assaulting a peace officer in Salmon Arm Provincial Court Dec. 22. The charge alleges that on Oct. 29, 2020, Sagmoen assaulted a police officer, Cpl. Kovacs, who was engaged in the execution of his duty. The offence is alleged to have taken place in Spallumcheen. No further details were provided.

Sagmoen is not in custody and was not present at the Jan. 7 hearing in Vernon, listed as a hearing to consult with legal counsel. Sagmoen’s next appearance was scheduled, and he’ll be back in Vernon court Feb. 11 for an arraignment hearing, where his charges will be read to him and he’ll have a chance to plead.

As with most all of Sagmoen’s past court appearances in Vernon, protesters were present outside the courthouse, calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in the North Okanagan.

As one protester said, the group’s consistent attendance is a central part of their message.

“It’s so that we keep everybody understanding that we’re listening… we’re watching, and we’re making sure that you understand that we’ll be here at every single one. We want justice,” she said.

Sagmoen is under a probation order that prohibits him from contact with any sex trade worker, escort, or person offering paid dating or companion services. He has been convicted of assaulting and threatening sex trade workers on or near the Salmon River Road property.

According to citizen reports on social media, on Oct. 29 several police vehicles could be seen in Silver Creek on Salmon River Road, on and around the Sagmoen farm. Sagmoen’s parents own the farm and he had been staying there.

“One person was arrested by police and has since been released,” the RCMP said at the time via email.

Sagmoen has been found guilty in the past of assaulting sex workers in the North Okanagan area, committed on the Salmon River Road property.

In October 2017, the remains of Traci Genereaux were found on the Sagmoen property. No charges have been laid in relation to her death.

It has now been more than three years since the discovery of the 18-year-old’s remains. Protester Abby Marchand said waiting for the legal system to enact justice has been discouraging.

“It doesn’t give a lot of women hope for justice,” Marchand said. It’s just frustrating, (and) imagine the frustration her family feels.”

READ MORE: Curtis Sagmoen charged with assaulting

READ MORE: ‘We are making a stand’: Kelowna church will continue to gather, despite RCMP fine


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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