An escort who was called to a Salmon River Road property and “run over” with an ATV gave her statement in Supreme Court Monday.
The woman was the first witness called to the high-profile trial of Curtis Sagmoen. The North Okanagan man faces two charges of assault that allegedly took place near Falkland in August 2017.
While the trial was expected to last five days, Crown counsel anticipates it will be wrapped up by lunch time Tuesday. A large rally is also expected at that time as women, and men, dressed in red converge on the steps of the Vernon Courthouse.
Much of Monday was spent hearing from an Okanagan escort, who said she was hit from behind by an ATV, flipping her over it and landing face first.
The woman said her services were requested for three or four hours on Aug. 10, 2017, which she said would cost approximately $900-1,200.
When she went to the property, no one was home. She described the property as “sketchy” with “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” signs.
“I was uncomfortable so I backed out of there,” said the woman whose identity is protected by a publication ban.
She said she saw an ATV go by and texted the client, who said it was him and asked her to follow him down to a creek. Not able to get her car down the narrow path, she was asked to walk down and grab a bottle from the back of his ATV.
She did and was offered a drink, which she refused.
“He pretended to have a sip and put it in his pocket and said it was a sipping booze.”
She was asked for her services, but declined at the edge of the creek because she had not yet been paid, which is normal in her business.
He asked her to follow him up a dirt road to his house, but her car got stuck. While trying to help get her car unstuck, a man out walking happened upon the pair. That man also later testified.
“I got the impression he wished I wasn’t there,” the man stated, adding that previous to that day there were other times when there would be a strange vehicle in the area.
Meanwhile the escort and her client managed to get the car out, but not wanting to get stuck again, she caught a ride on the ATV where she was told his home was.
At one point they stopped and feeling uneasy about the situation, she asked to be brought back to her car.
She told the court room the man pretended like the ATV would not start, so she told him she would walk back down the hill.
“I knew his quad didn’t break down but he was pretending like it had broke down.”
While walking, she heard the quad start up and moved to the edge of the road to let it pass.
“Instead of going by me, he hit me square from behind. He hit me so hard I flipped over him.”
While she is thankful she didn’t lose consciousness, she says she suffered a concussion, a broken tail bone, road rash up the back of her legs, many bruises and a lump on the back of her head.
“I just remember hearing the crack when the quad hit the back of my head,” she said.
When she stood up, he seemed “surprised” and she asked why he would do that. He responded that he didn’t mean to.
“He had hit me so hard that I couldn’t find my shoes and I couldn’t find my keys which were in my hand at the time.”
She found her keys and headed back down towards her car, walking backwards because she was scared to turn her back to him.
When she reached her car, he asked her to follow him again.
But at the end of the road, when he turned one way, she went the other and headed straight home.
“He just tried to kill me, in my eyes. I just wanted to get away from him as quickly as possible,” she said.
“I personally didn’t find him intimidating until he ran me over,” she said, adding that in her profession she has never been given a reason to be afraid of anybody and nothing bad had ever happened to her.
During cross examination, defense lawyer Lisa Helps brought attention to the escorts addiction.
“At the time all of this happened you were an intravenous drug user. You were using heroin on a regular basis,” said Helps.
The escort defended that her rule is to never use drugs or alcohol before seeing a client.
The trial continues Tuesday at 10 a.m. where an officer is excpected to take the stand.
In December, Sagmoen, 39, was found guilty of threatening a sex-trade worker with a firearm in August 2017, but he was released on time served. He was also given 36 months of probation with strict conditions.
Conditions of Sagmoen’s probation order include no contact with sex trade workers, or the complainant and he has been banned from websites advertising or soliciting escort services.
Sagmoen’s family property became the subject of an extensive search in the fall of 2017 and the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were discovered.
No charges have been laid in connection with Genereaux’s death.
In an unrelated case stemming from a 2013 incident in Maple Ridge, Sagmoen pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation in Feb. 2019.