3 Feb 2011

Fugitive priest hiding in Belgium and Lourdes, France sent back to Canadian territory Nunavut to face sex abuse charges

CBC News - Canada January 20, 2011

Fugitive priest arrives in Iqaluit

With files from the CBC's Chris Harbord and The Canadian Press

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sex crimes against children in Nunavut has arrived in Iqaluit following a stopover in Montreal from Belgium.

Rev. Eric Dejaeger, 63, who is a Canadian citizen, arrived on an Air Canada Jazz flight at 1 p.m. ET Thursday.

RCMP officers accompanied him from the plane into a police truck that took him to the local courthouse for a hearing with a justice of the peace.

Dejaeger was put on Interpol's list of wanted fugitives when the Nunavut Court of Justice issued an arrest warrant in 2002 on six charges involving children in Igloolik, a remote Inuit community in the territory.

Bail hearing on Monday

Dejaeger faces three counts of indecent assault on a male and three counts of buggery, in relation to alleged incidents between 1978 and 1982 in Igloolik, where he had served as a missionary.

His lawyer, Mandy Sammurtok, told the court on Thursday that her client did not want to enter the courtroom. But after some discussion with the Crown, Dejaeger was ordered to appear.

Dejaeger, who did not speak in court, sported a white beard and looked older than he appeared in photographs Interpol had posted on its list of wanted fugitives. He was not wearing shoes.

Sammurtok asked that the case be adjourned until Monday, when a bail hearing will take place. Dejaeger remains in custody in Iqaluit in the meantime.

"We're very glad that this case has finally come back to Nunavut, and that we'll be able to provide closure to both our investigators and the people in Igloolik that were the victims of his crimes," Nunavut RCMP Supt. Howard Eaton told reporters at the Iqaluit detachment.

Fled to Belgium

Dejaeger pleaded guilty in 1990 to nine counts of sex crimes against boys and girls in Baker Lake, another community in Nunavut, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

But by the time the Igloolik charges were issued in 2002, Dejaeger was living freely in Belgium, his country of birth.

According to Belgian media, Dejaeger was living in an Oblate monastery and worked in the Catholic pilgrimage site of Lourdes, France, where he received Flemish pilgrims.

Belgian authorities detained Dejaeger earlier this month for overstaying his legal residency in that country. According to government officials there, the priest gave up his Belgian citizenship when he became a Canadian citizen in 1977.

Dejaeger was put on a plane from Brussels to Montreal on Wednesday.

With files from the CBC's Chris Harbord and The Canadian Press

This article was found at:



Canadian priest convicted of pedophilia, wanted by Interpol for 15 years, surrenders in Belgium but authorities let him go

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Edmonton mural celebrates Catholic bishop's role in the horrific abuse of aboriginal children in residential schools

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A brief history of Canadian residential schools designed to indoctrinate and assimilate aboriginal children

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Sexual abuse by the Brothers of Holy Cross ruined lives of victims

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Current wave of global Catholic scandals just tip of iceberg says Quebec advocate who predicts many more to come 


  1. Dejaeger back in Nunavut court this month

    List of allegations has swollen to 40 counts

    NUNATSIAQ NEWS - Nunavut January 10, 2012

    Roman Catholic priest Father Eric Dejaeger must appear in Nunavut territorial court Jan. 23 for arraignment on up to 39 criminal charges, most related to the sexual molestation of children, Justice Robert Kilpatrick said Jan. 9.

    Crown prosecutor Paul Bychok and defence lawyer Andrew Mahar participated via a teleconference, and Dejaeger did not put in anappearance.

    The list of allegations Dejaeger faces, which has swollen to nearly 40 counts, involves a long list of sex offences alleged to have occurred in Igloolik against children between 1978 and 1982.

    RCMP in Igloolik originally charged Dejaeger with six counts of indecent assault in 1995.

    But he fled to Belgium and missed a schedule court appearance on those charges.

    Police in Belgium arrested Dejaeger after Belgian authorities discovered he was living there illegally.He had given up his Belgian citizenship in 1977 to become a Canadian citizen.

    Belgian officials sent him back to Canada in early 2011 to face the outstanding charges.


  2. Eric Dejaeger, former priest, pleads guilty to sex charges

    Case include allegations that relate to Eric Dejaeger's time as a priest in Igloolik between 1978-82

    CBC News November 18, 2013

    Disgraced former priest Eric Dejaeger has pleaded guilty in an Iqaluit courtroom to eight of 76 sex-related charges involving Inuit children.

    The eight charges he entered pleas on are all for indecent assault against male victims.

    No agreed statement of facts has yet been entered on the charges he pleaded guilty to, and the trial by judge is continuing in the packed courtroom with testimony from complainants.

    The case includes allegations from Feb. 19, 1995, when he was originally charged with three counts of indecent assault and three counts of buggery, a charge no longer in the Criminal Code. They relate to his time as a priest in the community of Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

    In 1995, Dejaeger had just completed a five-year sentence, most of it served in a halfway house and on probation, on 11 counts of sexual assault and indecent assault against children in Baker Lake, where he was posted after Igloolik.

    He was scheduled to return to court on the Igloolik charges on June 13, 1995, but never showed. By then, he had left the coutnry and was in Europe.

    An arrest warrant was immediately issued, but the disgraced priest was able to live quietly in Oblate communities in France and Belgium until he was returned in early 2011.


    Related Stories

    Canada let priest charged with sex abuse leave to Belgium: Oblate official

    A timeline of events in Nunavut abuse case involving former priest

  3. Eric Dejaeger testifies in Nunavut court

    Former priest pleads guilty to 8 charges of molestation, says other charges 'not true at all'

    CBC News January 21, 2014

    Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger spoke in his own defence January 21 at his trial in Iqaluit.

    His appearance marked the first time he has addressed the court.

    Dejaeger faces dozens of charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of Inuit children.

    He has pleaded guilty to eight of the charges.

    Dejaeger told the court he wanted "to take responsibility for his actions," relating to those eight charges.

    Defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt lead the former oblate priest to discuss his eight guilty pleas, one by one.

    According to Dejaeger, the eight incidents of sexual abuse took place in his bedroom at the mission and involved only young boys.

    In each case, Dejaeger claimed he touched the boys on the crotch, over their pants. He told the court this happened once only with each child.

    Kempt then questioned Dejaeger about the other charges of sexual abuse, some of which involved girls. Dejaeger said "that didn't happen."

    Dejaeger told the court the allegations are "not true at all" and presented a very different version of events that what is alleged by complainants and the prosecution.

    He also told the court he never was involved in any sexual acts with dogs.

    Dejaeger spoke calmly and several times stumbled as his first language is Flemish. On those occasions the court Justice asked him to slow down and speak more clearly.

    Later this week Dejaeger will face cross-examination from the prosecutor.


  4. A timeline of events in Nunavut abuse case involving Catholic priest

    By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press November 17, 2013

    A timeline of events in the case against Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger, who faces a trial on 76 historical sex charges in Nunavut:

    June 28, 1973: Dejaeger, 26, leaves Belgium for Canada to study for the Catholic priesthood with the Oblate order. He visits several Arctic missions and stays briefly in Pelly Bay, N.W.T. (now Kugaaruk, Nunavut).

    May 1974: Leaves Pelly Bay for Edmonton.

    1977: Takes out Canadian citizenship and is consecrated as a deacon in Repulse Bay, Nunavut.

    1978: Ordained as a priest after studies at Edmonton's Newman Theological College. Posted to Igloolik, Nunavut.

    1982: Posted to Baker Lake, Nunavut.

    April 1989: Asked by Oblates to leave Baker Lake.

    Aug. 21, 1989: Arrested in Langley, B.C., where he is studying Inuktitut.

    Dec. 19, 1989: Pleads guilty to eight counts of sexual assault and one charge of indecent assault in Baker Lake. Sentenced to five years.

    June 14, 1991: Pleads guilty to two additional counts of sexual assault in Baker Lake after being charged with five. Sentences to be served concurrently.

    Sept. 12, 1991: Released from Rockwood Prison, a minimum-security institution in Stony Mountain, Man. Moves to
    halfway house.

    March 11, 1992: Granted full parole subject to conditions in effect until 1995. Enrols at University of Manitoba.

    January-February 1993: RCMP begin questioning other alleged victims. New charges filed.

    June 10, 1993: Dejaeger's lawyer writes to the Crown asking if another trial is needed. After some correspondence and discussion, a trial scheduled for early July is cancelled. Internal Oblate correspondence indicates "no further charges are expected."

    1994: RCMP begin interviewing alleged victims in Igloolik.

    Feb. 19, 1995: Dejaeger is charged with three counts of indecent assault and three counts of buggery related to his time in Igloolik.

    March 26, 1995: Dejaeger writes to Oblate officials in Belgium to propose a possible return.

    April 20, 1995: Oblate officials invite him to return.

    June 13, 1995: Dejaeger fails to appear for a court date and an arrest warrant is issued.

    June 20, 1995: Oblate officials are informed that Dejaeger is in Belgium.

    July 5, 1995: Oblate officials in Belgium are informed that a Canadian arrest warrant was issued against Dejaeger. Dejaeger told by Oblates that nothing is likely to happen unless he comes to Canada.

    May 3, 2001: Interpol puts Dejaeger on its red list of international arrest warrants.

    June 27, 2002: RCMP issues fresh arrest warrant.

    May 8, 2010: Belgian media publish story on Dejaeger living freely in Belgium despite warrants.

    June 25, 2010: Interpol reissues arrest warrant.

    Sept. 12, 2010: Oblates issue statement saying Dejaeger will turn himself in.

    Jan. 3, 2011: Dejaeger arrested on immigration charges after journalist discovers his Belgian citizenship is no longer valid.

    Jan. 19, 2011: Dejaeger returned to Canada, held in custody.

    Nov. 18, 2013: Dejaeger's trial to begin.


  5. Crown cross examines Eric Dejaeger in Nunavut Court

    Former priest testifies he never heard confessions, didn't speak Inuktitut

    CBC News January 22, 2014

    Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger was back on the stand this morning facing cross examination in Iqaluit.

    The 66-year-old is facing dozens of charges related to alleged sexual abuse of children in Igloolik, Nunavut three decades ago.

    Some of the complainants have told the court they were abused by Dejaeger while he heard their confession.

    Today, Dejaeger denied having listened to confessions while working in Igloolik at the mission for four years. He says that was the job of the main priest, Father Robert Lechat.

    Dejaeger was the priest in training. He says he conducted mass, performed baptisms, marriages and provided counselling.

    Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss asked if he heard confessions over religious holidays like Easter and Christmas. There was one period when Lechat was gone eight months straight.

    Dejaeger said it was not unusual for there to be no confessions. He said he didn't speak Inuktitut, which is one reason why he didn't hear confessions.

    Now says he should have learned Inuktitut instead of English.

    Dejaeger told the court his role in the community was to serve the people and that becoming a priest was his calling. The crown will continue the cross examination this afternoon.


  6. Eric Dejaeger trial adjourned until March 17

    CBC News January 23, 2014

    The trial of Eric Dejaeger has been adjourned until March 17.

    The 66-year-old former Oblate missionary is facing dozens of charges relating to the sexual abuse of children in Igloolik three decades ago.

    Dejaeger took the stand in Iqaluit this week in his own defence, repeatedly denying most of the allegations against him.

    Crown prosecutors have yet to conclude their cross-examination of him. However, they plan to make an application to explore details of Dejaeger’s criminal record, to determine whether character is an issue.

    Then they plan to call evidence in reply to the testimony of one of the complainants.

    Dejaeger: ‘It just happened’

    In court yesterday, the Crown spent much of the time asking Eric Dejaeger about the eight charges to which he has already pleaded guilty, all of which are for indecent assault against young boys.

    Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss asked Dejaeger if he knew at the time that what he did was wrong.

    Dejaeger said a number of times that it wasn't a conscious right or wrong thing... and that "it just happened."

    The incidents took place in Dejaeger's bedroom upstairs at the mission. In each case, the boys were fully dressed.

    Father Robert Lechat was the main priest at the mission at the time, but was often away on church business.

    When he was there, he had strict rules: children were not allowed upstairs, and they were sent home at about nine in the evening.

    Curliss asked Dejaeger why he let the kids into his room when Lechat was absent.

    He said he didn't know.

    Dejaeger also said he didn't like it when children hung out at the mission outside of scheduled church activities, as there was a gym and a community hall in town.

    Closing arguments must be in open court: judge

    In court this morning, both the defence and Crown prosecutors sought to make closing arguments in writing, rather than in person in open court.

    But Justice Robert Kilpatrick denied that request.

    He says the public has an interest in the case, and it would be difficult and expensive for the public to access the written arguments.

    Kilpatrick says open court principles must be applied, and Dejaeger has a right to be present.

    Kilpatrick also told the court there will be no further delays or adjournments in the case.

    Dejaeger's lawyer, Malcolm Kempt, says his client wants to get the matter over with as soon as possible.

    Three charges dismissed

    Dejaeger was facing over 60 charges.

    However, three of those charges were dismissed Jan. 20.

    In an application to the court, Kempt sought to have a further seven charges dismissed, saying the Crown has not and could not prove its case.

    In a written ruling released Jan. 21, Kilpatrick dismissed one charge of threatening violence, and altered one charge from unlawful sexual intercourse to buggery.

    However, five other charges still stand.


  7. Trial of Eric Dejaeger, former Oblate priest, resumes

    CBC News Mar 17, 2014

    The trial of a former Oblate priest resumed this morning in Iqaluit.

    Sixty-six-year-old Eric Dejaeger faces dozens of charges of alleged sexual abuse against children in Igloolik three decades ago.

    Today, Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss made an application before the court asking whether he can cross-examine Eric Dejaeger regarding his criminal record.

    Curliss argued there are questions surrounding Dejaeger's character and morality and he wants to ask him about some of his testimony.

    Dejaeger's lawyer Malcolm Kempt says the Crown's application should simply be denied.

    He says the Crown has already asked leading questions of his client

    And Kempt accused the Crown prosecutor of trying to come up with any reason to question Dejaeger.

    In court, Dejaeger showed no emotion.

    Justice Robert Kilpatrick has reserved his decision on the application until tomorrow.

    Then the Crown is expected to make a second application: to re-visit the testimony of one of the complainants.

    The trial is expected to conclude this week.


    A timeline of events in Nunavut abuse case involving Catholic priest


  8. Crown makes 3rd application in Eric Dejaeger case

    CBC News March 19, 2014

    Justice Robert Kilpatrick has denied Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss' application from Tuesday to revisit the testimony of one of the complainants in the trial of former Oblate priest Eric Dejaeger.

    The 66-year-old is on trial at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

    He's facing dozens of charges alleging sexual abuse against children in Igloolik, Nunavut.

    After a short break Wednesday morning, Crown prosecutor Barry Nordin made another application to the court, this time to consider the evidence of each complainant to support the evidence of the other complainants.

    In total more than 40 people have testified, mostly about alleged sexual acts involving young girls, boys and even dogs.

    Dejaeger has already pleaded guilty to eight counts but still faces more than 70 sex-related charges.

    In court, Nordin said there are similarities in the evidence presented by the complainants. He pointed out the number of counts and the number of alleged victims. There are 21 male complainants and 20 female complainants.

    Most were between the ages of four and 16 years old at the time the incidents are alleged to have occurred. Nineteen complainants allege they were touched inappropriately over their clothes, 21 allege they were touched by Dejaeger under their clothes and 11 say he attempted or succeeded at raping them.

    Nordin said in all cases Dejaeger saw an opportunity to abuse a child.

    Dejaeger's defence lawyer will respond to the Crown's application on Thursday morning before Justice Kilpatrick considers it.


  9. Eric Dejaeger not an evil monster: defence lawyer

    CBC News May 26, 2014

    Eric Dejaeger’s defence lawyer argued Monday morning that the former Oblate priest is not guilty of most of the allegations against him.

    Dejaeger, 67, is on trial for dozens of charges of sex offences against children dating back to his time in Igloolik, Nunavut three decades ago.

    In his closing argument this morning, defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt said the Crown has painted Dejaeger as an "evil monster."

    Kempt says his client is a sex offender and has admitted he touched eight boys in a sexual and inappropriate manner. He pleaded guilty to those charges in November.

    But Kempt says Dejaeger is not guilty on the other counts.

    More than 40 people testified during Dejaeger’s trial.

    In almost all cases, Kempt says the court has only the testimony of the complainants to rely on.

    He says there are many inconsistencies in their accounts from the 1970s and '80s in Igloolik.

    Kempt suggests the complainants were influenced by outside forces, and were talking about the alleged abuse with one another.

    He says the Crown and the police may also have “poisoned the well” of evidence.

    Kempt says the Crown's case rests on vague, fragile, often conflicted childhood memories.

    He says the complainants are vulnerable people with limited education, and many of them are truly victims of other hardships such as sexual abuse, suicide and substance abuse.

    But he maintains they are not victims of Eric Dejaeger.

    The closing arguments in the case are expected to conclude this week.


  10. Eric Dejaeger ‘has a strong motive to lie:’ Crown

    CBC News May 27, 2014

    The Crown prosecutor questioned Eric Dejaeger's credibility and character during his closing submission today in Iqaluit.

    Dejaeger, 67, is on trial for dozens of charges of sex offences against children dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut in the 1970s and ‘80s.

    This morning, Crown Doug Curliss said Eric Dejaeger is a well-educated, relatively sophisticated person, who used his position of power as a priest to commit various criminal offences.

    Curliss said Dejaeger cannot be trusted, and that he has a strong motive to lie.

    Curliss pointed out that when Dejaeger learned of the many charges in this case, he chose to flee to Belgium.

    The Crown also referenced Dejaeger's criminal record.

    Dejaeger was convicted of 10 sexual assaults in the 1990s from when he worked as a priest in Baker Lake.

    Curliss says this also speaks to Dejaeger's morality and character.

    The Crown also addressed the reliability of the complainants' testimony, which Dejaeger’s defence lawyer had called into question.

    Over 40 people testified at the trial, mostly alleged victims and two church workers.

    The complainants allege the sex abuse happened while camping, at the mission, during confessions and during sleepovers at the church.

    Curliss says the witnesses, especially those who worked at the church in Igloolik at the time, gave the court context and detail about what exactly went on at the mission.

    The Crown and defence lawyers will now have a chance to respond to each others' submissions.

    The closing arguments are expected to wrap-up this week.


  11. Former priest Eric Dejaeger to go to trial in Edmonton on sex charges

    CBC News August 01, 2014

    Former priest Eric Dejaeger will go to trial in Edmonton on charges of indecent assault and gross indecency after waiving his right to a preliminary inquiry on Thursday.

    A lawyer representing Dejaeger, 67, appeared in an Edmonton courtroom.

    The charges relate to incidents alleged to have occurred in Edmonton between 1975 and 1978 when he was studying at Newman Theological College.

    Dejaeger will have his trial date set on Sept. 12.

    Dejaeger is awaiting the verdict from his recent trial in Iqaluit. He's charged with dozens of sex offences against children in Igloolik, Nunavut stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred during his time as a priest in the community three decades ago.


  12. Eric Dejaeger found guilty of 24 out of 68 sex-related charges

    CBC News September 12, 2014

    A Nunavut judge has found Eric Dejaeger guilty of 24 of 68 charges relating to sex crimes dating back to his time as a Catholic priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, before he fled Canada in the mid-1990s.

    Dejaeger, 67, had already pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault.

    In all, he was convicted of 24 counts of indecent assault, one of unlawful confinement, two of buggery, three of unlawful sexual intercourse, one of sexual assault and one of bestiality. The victims include 12 boys, 10 girls and a dog he abused in front of two children.

    Dejaeger had pleaded not guilty to the 68 charges relating to allegations of sex crimes against children in Igloolik three decades ago. His trial that started in November 2013 ended in May.

    He will be back in court for sentencing Jan. 19.

    In his written decision, Justice Robert Kilpatrick noted that the quantity of evidence in the case had been "substantially weakened by the passage of time."

    The trial was marked by high emotion and lurid tales as more than 40 complainants testified.

    Witness after witness told court that Dejaeger used his position as Igloolik's missionary to lure and trap them into sex, threatening them with hellfire or separation from their families if they told.

    Dejaeger's lawyer questioned the credibility of many of those accounts, but the Crown argued that enough common themes emerged from the testimony that the stories from the victims hold together.

    At the trial that began in November, there were two lengthy adjournments and the number of charges went up and down as new counts were added and others dismissed.

    Justice Robert Kilpatrick reserved his ruling following the trial, apologizing for the delays

    Dejaeger was sentenced to five years in prison in 1989 for sexual assaults in Baker Lake, Nunavut. In 1995, Dejaeger left Canada for Belgium shortly after charges were laid against him in Igloolik. An international warrant for his arrest was issued in 2001.

    He was arrested by Belgian authorities in January 2011 on immigration charges and returned to Canada.


  13. Eric Dejaeger sentencing 9 victims make impact statements

    Former priest guilty of 32 counts of child sex abuse that happened over 3 decades ago in Nunavut

    CBC News January 19, 2015

    Nine victims spoke at a sentencing hearing today in Iqaluit for Eric Dejaeger, the former Roman Catholic priest convicted last fall of 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back three decades in Igloolik, Nunavut.

    The victims, who were children at the time of the abuse, are now in their 40s, 50s and 60s. They and their families filled the Nunavut Court of Justice's largest courtroom this morning.

    The sentencing hearing gives them an opportunity to voice what emotional, physical and financial impact the crimes have had on their lives.

    Dozens of complainants came forward over the course of the trial. Half were male, half female. So far today, six women and three men have submitted victim impact statements. Some read their statements themselves. Others had a family member, court officer or Crown prosecutor read a statement on their behalf.

    Many victims cited ongoing anger issues and depression. One said she did not finish school and attempted suicide because of the sexual abuse she suffered as a girl. Another said he wants the Vatican held responsible. One asked that Dejaeger be put away for a long time, saying he never received or wanted financial compensation, just for it all to be over.

    Some cried as they spoke of recurring nightmares and memories they can't shake. Several say they turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain.

    Others said because they trusted the man they knew as Father Eric, it has affected their relationship with God and people in authority.

    A few of the victims said they struggle with intimacy and trust.

    The court is expected to hear from four more victims when the hearing resumes this afternoon.

    Justice Robert Kilpatrick said the victim impact statements will wrap up tomorrow.

    Sentencing is expected to begin Wednesday and could take one or two days.


  14. Eric Dejaeger sentencing Defence asks for 12 years, minus time served

    Ex-priest to address the court at his sentencing hearing Thursday

    CBC News January 21, 2015

    A lawyer for former priest Eric Dejaeger says the Crown's suggestion of a 25-year sentence for his sex crimes is "excessive" and "heavy-handed."

    Dejaeger, 67, was convicted last year on 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

    In an Iqaluit courtroom Wednesday, Dejaeger's lawyer Malcolm Kempt argued for a sentence of 12 years, with a two for one credit for time spent in jail awaiting trial. That would leave Dejaeger with four years left to serve.

    Kempt said comparing Dejaeger's crimes to the horrific and depraved acts of worst-case sex offenders was unfair to his client. He argued far worse sex offenders have received lighter sentences than what the Crown is asking for.

    He said Dejaeger has serious health issues and dying in custody is a "very real fear" for the 67-year-old.

    Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss had asked for a sentence of 25 years for Dejaeger's crimes, minus the time the former Oblate priest has already served.

    Curliss said Dejaeger sexually assaulted children in "virtually every community he was in" and "discredited his calling...and victimized those he should have protected."

    Curliss listed each of Dejaeger's 32 offences and asked for consecutive sentences, ranging from nine months to eight years, for each.

    While his proposed sentence added up to 79.5 years, Curliss told the court that by applying the principle of totality, "a combined sentence should not be unduly long or harsh." He said a sentence of 25 years minus the time served would be appropriate.

    Dejaeger has been in jail since January 2011, awaiting trial. His time served to date adds up to four years. With a credit of two days for every day served, that would mean Curliss is asking for another 17 years in jail.

    In putting forward this recommendation, Curliss asked Justice Robert Kilpatrick to consider that Dejaeger has shown "no remorse," only denial.

    This is the third day in a row that victims and their families have filled the Nunavut Court of Justice, at times both sad and angry.

    On Monday and Tuesday, 18 of his victims described to the court how those events affected them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    Some said they have either lost or found faith in the process. One woman quoted the Bible, saying the former priest did not know God. Another said he won't baptize his daughter. He, like most of the others who made statements, said they turned instead to drugs and alcohol to "numb the pain and shame."

    Crown prosecutor Barry Nordin says there will probably not be a final decision from Justice Robert Kilpatrick this week.

    Nordin will have a chance to make a rebuttal to the defence's sentencing arguments tomorrow morning.

    Then Dejaeger plans to address the court.


  15. Eric Dejaeger sentencing 'I promise not to re-offend'

    4-day sentencing hearing wraps up for priest who abused Inuit children 3 decades ago

    CBC News January 22, 2015

    Eric Dejaeger addressed the court today as his four-day sentencing hearing wrapped up in Iqaluit.

    "I am really sorry for what I have done," the 67-year-old former priest told the judge as victims in the court's gallery cried. "I am sorry to the families and to my own family,"

    Dejaeger says he has done extensive counselling and said, "I promise not to re-offend again."

    Dejaeger was convicted last year on 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

    Justice Robert Kilpatrick extended the hearing yesterday to give Dejaeger's defence lawyer, Malcolm Kempt, a chance to compile a line-by-line list of recommendations for sentences per charge, as the Crown had done. This morning, Kempt declined to do so, saying such an outline would hurt his client's case.

    Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss gave a rebuttal to Kempt's final arguments. He said the defence's guilty pleas were hard won and therefore "insincere."

    Justice Kilpatrick has reserved his final decision, telling the court he would not "rush to judgment," but saying he hopes to issue a decision within two weeks.

    Dejaeger will not be back in court when the judge reveals his decision.

    On Wednesday, the Crown asked for a sentence of 25 years in prison, while the defence suggested 12 years. Both lawyers suggested Dejaeger be credited two days for every day spent in pre-trial custody. Dejaeger has been in custody since January 2011, when he returned to Canada from Belgium to face charges that were laid in 1995.

    On Monday and Tuesday, the court heard victim impact statements. Eighteen victims described to the court how Dejaeger's actions affected them physically, emotionally and spiritually.


  16. Eric Dejaeger, ex-priest convicted of child sex abuse, back in court

    Dejaeger facing three charges dating back to the mid-1970s while studying in Alberta

    CBC News March 19, 2015

    A former priest found guilty of sexually abusing children in Igloolik three decades ago was back in Nunavut court earlier this week to face outstanding charges from Alberta.

    Eric Dejaeger was sentenced in February to 19 years of jail time for 32 sex crimes against boys and girls in Igloolik. Dejaeger was a priest in the Nunavut community between 1978 and 1982 when the crimes were committed.

    Dejaeger is in court to face three sex-related charges stemming from a period in the mid-1970s, when he was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

    The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench agreed to move Dejaeger's case to Nunavut, after he requested to have his Alberta charges heard in the territory.

    However, according to Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren, transferring charges from one jurisdiction to another can take time, which is why Dejaeger's next court appearance will not be until June 16, in Iqaluit.


  17. Eric Dejaeger former priest to plead guilty to Alberta charges

    Convicted sex offender will face Alberta charges in Nunavut court

    By Nick Murray, CBC News June 18, 2015

    Convicted sex­ offender and former priest Eric Dejaeger will plead guilty to Alberta­-based charges that date to the mid-1970s.

    Dejaeger faces two counts of gross indecency, one count of indecent assault on a female and one count of indecent assault on a male.

    The offences were allegedly committed in the period between 1975 and 1978 when he was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

    Dejaeger had applied to have his Alberta charges heard in Nunavut. He's in the process of having those charges "waived" from Alberta to Nunavut, which means he's agreed to plead guilty to them and will be sentenced in Nunavut.

    The Alberta Crown prosecutor's office said Dejaeger had signed the waiver shortly after being convicted last year in Iqaluit of sex-­related charges involving Inuit children when he was serving as a priest in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

    In an Iqaluit courtroom Thursday, Nunavut Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren said the files still hadn't arrived from Alberta.

    The hearing has been adjourned to Sept. 29. That's when Dejaeger is expected to enter his plea and he may be sentenced the same day, after the facts of the case have been submitted.


  18. Former priest Eric Dejaeger pleads guilty to more sex-related charges

    Charges stem from the mid-1970s when he was a student in Edmonton

    by CBC News September 30, 2015

    Convicted sex-offender Eric Dejaeger has pleaded guilty to four more sex-related charges dating back to the mid-1970s, when the former priest was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

    Yesterday in Iqaluit, Dejeager pleaded guilty to two counts of gross indecency, one count of indecent assault on a female, and one count of indecent assault on a male. Dejaeger had previously applied to have the charges heard in a Nunavut courtroom rather than in Alberta.

    In February, Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison for sexually abusing children in Igloolik, Nunavut more than 30 years ago. He was convicted of 32 sex crimes ranging from indecent assault to bestiality, dating back to his time as a priest in the community.

    Dejaeger is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 22.


  19. Eric Dejaeger, ex-priest, sentenced to 5 years for Edmonton sex charges

    1970s Alberta victims were 9-year-old boy, 8-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl

    CBC News October 22, 2015

    Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger was sentenced in Iqaluit today to five years in prison for sex offences against children stemming from the mid-1970s when he was studying in Edmonton.

    Dejaeger had pleaded guilty in September to two counts of gross indecency, one count of indecent assault on a female, and one count of indecent assault on a male. The crimes were committed when the former priest was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

    He had previously applied to have the charges heard in a Nunavut courtroom rather than in Alberta.

    The victims were a nine-year-old aboriginal boy from Grande Cache, Alta., and an eight-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl from Edmonton who were brother and sister.

    Dejaeger told the girl that what he was doing to her was a secret between them and God, and if she told anyone she'd go to hell.

    In her decision, Justice Susan Cooper noted how the victims, now adults, all have substance abuse problems. She added that it remains to be seen what effect Dejaeger's crimes will have on his victims' children.

    In February, Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison for sexually abusing children in Igloolik, Nunavut, more than 30 years ago. He was convicted of 32 sex crimes ranging from indecent assault to bestiality, dating back to his time as a priest in the community.

    Today Cooper sentenced 69-year old Dejaeger to five years in prison for each of the Alberta charges, to be served concurrently, and also concurrent with the sentence for his Igloolik charges. That means he won't serve any additional time.

    He has filed an appeal where he'll represent himself. It is unclear which charges he is appealing.


  20. Eric Dejaeger, ex-priest, appeals Igloolik sex crime convictions

    No indication yet on what legal grounds he's appealing

    CBC News November 10, 2015

    Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger is appealing 24 of his convictions for sex crimes against children in Igloolik, Nunavut, that took place more than 30 years ago. He hasn't indicated yet on what legal grounds he's appealing.

    Dejaeger was convicted of 32 counts of child sex abuse and sentenced to 19 years in prison last February. He was found guilty on 24 of those counts following a trial, and had previously pleaded guilty to another eight.

    He's appealing the guilty verdicts from the trial, which were handed down on Sept. 12, 2014, the Crown's office confirmed.

    Dejaeger was in an Iqaluit courtroom today to speak to the matter. He has applied for funding through Nunavut's Legal Services Board to get a lawyer.

    The matter was set over until March 9, to give the board more time to deliberate Dejaeger's request.