A North Okanagan man pleaded not guilty in court to five charges after being accused of threatening a sex worker with a gun while wearing a mask in 2017.
Curtis Sagmoen, 38, appeared in court on Monday to make his plea against charges including uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a controlled substance and reckless discharge of a firearm.
Sagmoen was arrested in October 2017, and has been in custody ever since, in connection to his alleged crimes in late August of that year.
Shortly after his arrest, his parents’ farm was the focus of an extensive search, where police discovered the remains of Traci Genereaux, 18, who had been missing. No charges have been laid in connection to her death.
But Sagmoen has been accused in four separate incidents of threatening or assaulting sex workers. This includes an incident in Maple Ridge back in 2013, which Sagmoen pleaded guilty to in February. For those charges, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail followed by 24 months of probation.
The trial, which is under a court-ordered publication ban, is expected to last several days.
Chants of “gone, but not forgotten,” “our sisters deserve justice,” and “all women’s lives are sacred,” rang out from the stairs outside the Vernon courts and despite the inclement weather, around 20 protesters lent their voices.
The protesters rallied for awareness of violence against women and charges to be laid in respect to Genereaux’s death.
— with files from Ashley Wadhwani