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Anti-violence advocates rally in Kamloops ahead of Sagmoen appearance

Notorious Okanagan man had a court date for possession of a firearm contrary to order
Curtis Wayne Sagmoen. (THE NEWS/files)

Aaron Hemens, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter INDIGINEWS

More than a dozen people rallied outside a B.C. courthouse Thursday as Curtis Sagmoen, an Okanagan-based man with a history of violence against women, was set to make an appearance.

Sagmoen was scheduled to appear in the Kamloops court on June 20 on two counts of possession of a firearm contrary to order. His lawyer was present online for the hearing, but like his previous court date on June 6, Sagmoen was nowhere to be seen. His next appearance is booked for July 15.

Sagmoen’s past convictions involving assaults against women in the sex trade and the discovery of human remains on his family’s farm have led anti-violence advocates to keep a close eye on his court appearances.

Janet Enoch helped to organize the rally this week, as people equipped with drums, red dresses and signage to honour missing and murdered women called for justice.

“We’re not going to stop until Curtis is behind bars for a good length of time,” said Enoch. “Because while he’s out, he’s just a danger. He’s a danger to any women.”

Sagmoen was convicted of assault in 2020 after ramming a woman he had hired for sex, with an ATV. He was also convicted of assault in 2019 for another attack on a sex worker, and on a firearms offence that same year for an incident involving him pointing a gun at a woman he had hired.

In 2017, the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were found on Sagmoen’s parent’s farm, which led to a massive RCMP search of the property and investigation. Sagmoen has not been charged in connection with her death.

“(Genereaux’s) going on seven years — almost 3,000 days — of nothing,” said Enoch.

Enoch told IndigiNews that the purpose of the gathering was to not only condemn Sagmoen, but to amplify concerns around violence against women in Canada and the United States.

In Kamloops, as people honoured Genereaux and other women, community members placed signs around the courthouse entrance on Thursday, with messages that included: “No more stolen sisters,” “Justice for MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women)” and “Is your sister next?”

Red dresses were hung on trees and parking posts throughout the building’s exterior. Community members held up signs that read, “She is someone,” “You are not forgotten” and “Sex work is work” as drummers honoured victims with music including with the Women’s Warrior Song.

“We’re there for Traci. We’re there for other missing and murdered ladies who can’t speak for themselves,” said Enoch.

To show their support, the Battered Women’s Support Services’ team and their Elders hosted their own solidarity rally in Vancouver.

Enoch said that her group will continue to be present for Sagmoen’s court dates — regardless of whether he shows up — to raise awareness and to denounce violence against women.

“We’re going to keep doing it until we can’t do it anymore,” she said. “We’re not garbage. We’re not supposed to be thrown away in landfills. We’re human beings and we need to be treated as such.”

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