Rally held for missing women as Curtis Sagmoen makes brief court appearance

Sagmoen, 36, faces multiple charges related to the attack on a sex worker near his family's Salmon Arm-area farm in August.

Salmon Arm-area man faces multiple charges related to an attack on a sex worker in August

After Curtis Sagmoen appeared in court on firearms charges last month, about two dozen protesters rallied outside the courthouse to oppose violence against women. (Curtis Allen/CBC)

About a dozen women rallied outside the courthouse in Vernon, B.C., on Thursday morning as Curtis Sagmoen made a brief appearance via video link. 

The protesters said they wanted to remind the public of the names of women who have gone missing or suffered violence in the region.

"We want to spark change and we want to keep pressure up with the police and the investigators," rally organizer Meagan Louis told CBC News.

Caitlin Potts, 27; Ashley Simpson, 32; Deanna Wertz, 46; Nicole Bell, 31; and Traci Genereaux, 18, have all gone missing from the North Okanagan since early 2016.

Sagmoen was arrested after the RCMP warned of a possible risk to women and sex workers in the area around Salmon River Road, a rural corner of the North Okanagan where Sagmoen's family owns a large property.

The 36-year-old man is charged with several offences related to alleged threats against a sex worker in late August, including disguising his face with the intent to commit an offence, intentionally discharging a firearm, uttering threats, careless use or storage of a firearm, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose and possession of a controlled substance.

Sagmoen's next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 14.

Police have not linked the case to the search of Sagmoen's family farm near Salmon Arm, where the remains of 18-year-old Traci Genereaux were found last month.

Police search a farm near Salmon Arm, B.C., on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (Desmond Murray/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

With files from Canadian Press and Brady Strachan