The trial of Curtis Sagmoen resumed at the Vernon Law Courts Tuesday, Dec. 17. (Black Press file photo)

‘I was afraid he was going to shoot me’: alleged victim in Sagmoen case says

Trial of Curtis Sagmoen continued Tuesday at the Vernon Law Courts

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen potentially saw its final piece of evidence when his alleged victim took the stand on Tuesday.

The alleged victim answered questions from the Crown and the defence before Justice Alison Beames in B.C. Supreme Court in Vernon.

The complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, recounted a night in August 2017 when she was allegedly threatened with a firearm by a man on Salmon River Road — after she’d received a text responding to her ad on an online escort service, asking for a “playdate.”

The complainant agreed to meet up that night.

When the complainant arrived at Salmon River Road, she received another text. The person she was scheduled to meet said he mistakenly gave her his old address, and he now resided further up the road. She drove to the new location, following the person’s texted instructions.

The complainant said she stopped in front of a bridge on a driveway, which was blocked by a closed gate. She got out of her car and heard a rustling in the bushes before a man emerged holding a gun.

The court heard she raced to the vehicle with the man in tow. She said he came to the driver’s side of her vehicle and pointed the weapon through the open window. She pushed the gun away with her hand. Unable to back her car out of the driveway, she got out and made her escape by foot.

READ MORE: Sagmoen’s arrest deemed valid: Justice

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Crown prosecutor Juan O’Quinn asked the complainant what she had been afraid of as she was running away from the scene.

“I was afraid he was going to shoot me,” she answered. “I’m forever grateful that I’m not dead.”

The complainant had lost her sandals while making her escape. Too afraid to hitchhike, she said she hid outside a neighbouring property until daybreak.

“I was so scared. I was hiding and covering myself in the dirt,” she said.

While O’Quinn was asking her about the texting exchange, the complainant said she had not been wary of meeting up with the person judging by their text conversation.

“I picked up good vibes from him the whole time,” she said.

Defence lawyer Lisa Helps questioned the complainant about the gun’s position when the man was at her driver’s side window. After some time — and after being shown a transcript of her statement to police around the time of the incident — the complainant agreed that the gun had not been pointed directly at her, but had been “pointed on a slant.”

Helps then asked whether the complainant had been around guns before. The complainant said she hadn’t.

“So you don’t know what it looks like when someone is just carrying one versus getting ready to fire, for example?”

“I would recognize it from movies,” the complainant replied.

“And that wasn’t something you recognized here,” Helps said, continuing to pursue the line of questioning.

The court heard the complainant had difficulties identifying her assailant in the dark.

“I don’t know what he was wearing at all, I don’t recall any of that. I couldn’t see his face.”

On Monday, Justice Beames ruled the arrest of Sagmoen in September 2017 was lawful, bringing an end to the latest in a series of voir dires that consumed much of the time devoted to the trial, which is now in its third week.

The Crown and defence are set to give their final submissions on Wednesday.


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