Former Priest Faces New Charge

By APTN National News

Eric Dejaeger’s bail hearing has been put off until Thursday. That is when his permanent attorney is expected to arrive.

APTN has learned that his lawyer will be Andy Mahar. Mahar was last in the news when he represented Ping Kolola, a man convicted of murdering RCMP Constable Doug Scott in Kimmirit on Baffin Island.

During the hearing today, the Crown read some new charges facing Dejaeger. He is now facing a total of eight charges, seven for sexual assualt and one charge of fleeing Canada in 1995.

Former charges:

Dejaeger served as a priest in Baker Lake, Nunavut from 1982 to 1989 and was convicted of sex crimes against children there in 1990.

There were 9 charges in total including a charge for bringing a 10 year old boy to live with him in Baker Lake and assaulting him over the next 7 years.

From court files:

“In August 1989 this boy told the police that, starting when he was ten or twelve years old, he and Father Dejaeger had sexual relations until last year when the boy was 17 years old. The two of them slept together, showered together.

Dejaeger was also convicted of sexually assaulting the boy’s brother.

But when that sentence was handed down, authorities did not know about his crimes in Igloolik.

Nor did the judge recognize that Dejaeger may be a predator.

Part of justice J. Richard’s sentence is below:

“Upon reading those documents, I would simply say that I am not satisfied that Eric Dejaeger is a pedophile.  From the facts that were provided to the court today, in my view, this is simply a case of a lonely man who had normal sexual urges which he repressed for many years because of his calling no doubt and who satisfied those sexual urges, not by approaching adults who were old enough or mature enough to say no to him, but by befriending or seducing
young children who did not know enough, or were not courageous enough to say no to him.”

Dejaeger will be back in court on Thursday.

He arrived in Iqaluit on Thursday in the custody of the RCMP after being deported by his home country of Belgium.

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.