The trial of Curtis Sagmoen heard the final submissions from defence and Crown on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 at the Vernon Law Courts. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen heard the final submissions from defence and Crown on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 at the Vernon Law Courts. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Sagmoen trial awaits judge’s decision

Crown’s case hinges on circumstantial evidence regarding Sagmoen’s identity

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen is nearing its conclusion as Crown and defence made their final submissions in BC Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Sagmoen is accused of having threatened a sex trade worker with a firearm while wearing a mask at his family’s Salmon River Road property in August 2017. On Tuesday, the court heard from the alleged victim and complainant in the trial, who recounted the incident before the court.

The complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, described a night that saw her drive to Salmon River Road to meet with a person who had responded to an ad for her escort service by text. After a series of events that have been discussed in minute detail in previous trial hearings, she ultimately ended up running barefoot in fear for her life after being approached by a man with a shotgun and a concealed face.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps had no intention of denying that it was her client who texted the complainant asking her to meet him on Salmon River Road for a “playdate” in August 2017.

“I’m not going to be arguing that there’s no link between Curtis Sagmoen and the person texting the complainant. In fact, I think that that has been well established.”

Instead, her focus was on whether Sagmoen was, beyond reasonable doubt, the masked assailant. She argued that complaints of theft from neighbours around the time of the offence indicated there was more suspicious activity in the area than the Crown was conceding.

Crown attorney Simone McCallum was direct in arguing there could be no other reasonable inference than that Sagmoen — a man with a documented history of having contact with sex workers, who was familiar with the property and had experience with firearms — was the assailant.

McCallum reminded the court of the complainant’s description of her assailant, who she said emerged from the bushes as she pulled up to a closed gate at the property.

“That has all the hallmarks of somebody who is expecting their target to arrive,” she said.

“The rational inference here, as I said at the beginning, is that (the complainant’s) assailant is her customer. And her customer was Mr. Sagmoen.”

McCallum conceded that the complainant’s testimony did not provide much in the way of identifying Sagmoen. The incident had taken place around 11:30 p.m., and the complainant said she had been unable to see much of anything in the dark.

With no smoking gun in terms of a clear identification of Sagmoen at the scene, the Crown’s case will hinge on circumstantial evidence.

“The Crown must point the court to other circumstantial indications of identity,” McCallum said.

Justice Alison Beames will make her decision and state her reasons on Friday, Dec. 20, at 10 a.m.

READ MORE: Threats charge dropped in Curtis Sagmoen trial

READ MORE: Man gets 15 months in jail for B.C. toddler’s snake-venom death


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

File photo
Trip for cigarettes costs Princeton man $500 and a lecture

You’ve got to start obeying the rules of the road, says judge

The health authority will occupy the building until October 31, 2021. File Photo
Health authority pays town $7.4K monthly to lease Riverside Centre

Facility is being rented for COVID vaccinations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s mass vaccination program will be delivered to Princeton residents from a clinic set up at the Riverside Community Centre. (Darryl Dyck/CP photo)
COVID vaccinations bookings began for local residents last week

Riverside serves as Princeton’s appointment centre

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

A car sheared a Hydro pole and the driver was pinned by a fence pole on 43rd Avenue Saturday, April 10. (Carmen Jaster photo)
Suspected impaired driver ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash in Vernon yard

Impaired driving investigation underway after driver shears Hydro pole and narrowly misses being impaled

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Kelowna construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Most Read