Curtis Sagmoen denies threatening sex worker with shotgun in interviews with police

A man charged with multiple counts of crimes against sex trade workers broke into tears as he was interviewed by RCMP officers and yelled that he had never pointed a firearm at anyone or pulled a trigger.

Curtis Sagmoen's outburst came during hours of video and audio interviews with police officers that were played during a four day hearing into the admissibility of evidence in Vernon, B.C.

The hearing ended last Thursday but the contents of the recordings can now be reported because a B.C. Supreme Court judge has lifted a publication ban after it was challenged by the CBC and Global News B.C.

He's accused of disguising his face with a mask and threatening a sex trade worker with a firearm in late August 2017, as well as discharging a firearm and possession of methamphetamine.

Sagmoen, who has pleaded not guilty to all counts, has been in custody since his arrest in October 2017.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a sex worker in Maple Ridge. And two years ago, RCMP officers found the remains of an 18-year-old woman on the farm where Sagmoen had been living, which belongs to his parents. 

The RCMP say her death is suspicious, but Sagmoen has not been named as a suspect.

While his name and face have been in the news in the past three years, the recordings are the first chance the public has had to see Sagmoen during the 24-hour-period immediately following his arrest.

Plenty of Fish

The interviews paint a picture of the accused and give an idea of the life he was leading up until his incarceration.

Sagmoen was living in an RV trailer on his parents' farm, enjoyed hunting and fishing and sometimes was employed as an ironworker on bridges.

He tells police he had a daughter from a previous relationship but they were estranged.

Sagmoen also speaks about his history of drug use and losing a job because of a failed drug test.

The statements come from a series of sit-down interviews and informal "cigarette breaks" between an RCMP officer and Sagmoen.

During the interviews, Sagmoen is sometimes sitting relaxed with his feet outstretched. At other times, he is slouched over or curled up in a chair with his head on a table.

In one interview, the officer repeatedly asks Sagmoen about his history of contacting and calling escorts.

At first, Sagmoen says he doesn't have a history with escorts and hadn't called anyone to his property in a couple of years. But he eventually admits he contacted several women and called one he met on an adult webpage called Backpage.

He tells the officer he texts "a lot of girls" and admits to telling women to meet him at his property. He later backtracks and says he doesn't remember meeting girls or remember texting them.

Sex worker approached by masked gunman

The officer repeatedly asks him if he contacted a specific sex worker in August 2017 and had her come out to his parents' farm.

He tells Sagmoen the woman arrived at the property and found the gate was locked. He says she was approached from behind by someone wearing a mask and carrying a gun, pointing it into the air. 

The officer tells Sagmoen the woman ran away, but the tires of her truck were shot out. During the exchange, Sagmoen answers most questions repeatedly with, "I don't know" and tells the officer he is tired.

Desmond Murray/Canadian Press

The officer asks Sagmoen about firearms and whether he owns a .410 gauge shotgun, like the one he claims was used in the offence.

But Sagmoen tells the officer he doesn't have a .410 and didn't have access to one. 

Sagmoen explodes angrily at another point in the conversations with police, when the officer tells him investigators will have to have his parents out of their home for some time, while they search the home and the computers inside.

At this, Sagmoen jumps up in rage and sends his chair flying through the interview room.

Sagmoen also express concern about his dog, his truck and fishing gear but the officer ensures him his belongings are safe.

During the interview, Sagmoen repeatedly tells the officer he is tired and wants to speak to his lawyer.

Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames has yet to announce her decision on whether the statements provided by Sagmoen during the interviews were given voluntarily and may be used against him at trial.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Sagmoen has elected to be tried by judge alone. A trial date has not been set, but more court hearings are expected to resume in December.

B.C. Supreme Court