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Sagmoen ruling due, again

One media representative referred to it as "Banception" on Monday.

The reference to the 2010 science fiction movie Inception that posited a person can enter the subconscious of another person was famous for hard-to-follow layers.

So it was on Monday as the Supreme Court of B.C. trial involving charges relating to an incident from 2017 allegedly involving Curtis Sagmoen resumed. See if you can keep up with the following:

There was a publication ban issued pre-trial covering any details that would tend to identify the victim in the case, a fairly standard practice. That notice went out on Aug. 30. No issues were raised by attending members of the media.

On Monday, Sept. 9, Crown counsel Simone McCallum and defence lawyer Lisa Helps jointly proposed a ban of details emerging from the voir dire — a mini-trial within a trial held to determine the admissibility of evidence. This caught most media, and Justice Alison Beames, off guard as publication bans of voir dire hearings in a judge-only trial are rare.

Nonetheless, Beames agreed to a temporary ban pending any formal objections from the media. Naturally, it takes time to prepare an argument, and the lawyer representing CBC requested time to allow for travel and to prepare an argument. That request was granted, and the hearing on the status of the temporary publication ban took place Sept. 16, a full week after the ban was enacted.

As things often do, Monday's arguments took roughly twice the amount of time expected, and Justice Beames said she will now make her ruling on the request from media lawyers to withdraw the temporary publication ban of the voir dire hearing Tuesday at 10 a.m.

If the ban is lifted, media will be able to report on the details of last week's four-day hearing.

The lawyers for CBC and Global also jointly requested the exhibits tendered during the voir dire be made available to the media, which is as far as we can go on specifics relating to that request.

Tuesday's session should provide rulings on the bans and clarity on the trial's future timing.

Dates currently being floated for the continuation of the trial proper are the weeks of Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.

Background

The charges in this case stem from an incident in August 2017 near Falkland where a sex worker alleges she was threatened with a weapon before she managed to escape.

Sagmoen has been behind bars since his arrest in September 2017.

In October 2017, police searched a farm owned by Sagmoen's parents on Salmon River Road near Silver Creek where they found the remains of Traci Genereaux.

No connection between Genereaux and Sagmoen has been made, and he is not facing any charges relating to her death.

Police have called Genereaux's death suspicious.

Other allegations of violent acts against women by Sagmoen have also been made, and on Feb. 4 Sagmoen pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from an incident in the Lower Mainland in 2013.

Sagmoen was originally charged with assault causing bodily harm in an attack on a sex trade worker in Maple Ridge, but entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.



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