Nunavut sex offender and ex-priest back in court
Case adjourned, again, as Nunavut court awaits Alberta charges
Crown prosecutors are still waiting on the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to send information to Nunavut regarding three outstanding charges against ex-priest Eric Dejaeger.
That’s what court heard June 18 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.
According to the NCJ criminal court docket, which lists the names of accused people and the charges they face, the three charges against Dejaeger include: one sex assault, one sexual interference with someone under the age of 16 years, and another charge of failure to comply with a summons.
Those charges stem from incidents alleged to have occurred in Alberta from 1975 and 1978.
Dejaeger studied at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton in the mid-1970s.
The notorious ex-priest, who wasfound guilty earlier this year of two dozen sex crimes against young people in Igloolik, has requested those Alberta charges be tried in Nunavut. That request was granted.
In Nunavut court June 18, lawyers rescheduled the case for three months from now, Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Crown prosecutor Barry McLaren told Nunatsiaq News it’s likely Dejaeger will enter a plea at that time, and sentencing could happen that day as well.
Dejaeger did not appear in court June 18 — although he did make the trip into the building from an Iqaluit jail cell.
Dejaeger was present in court June 16 for a brief appearance. But his defence lawyer, Malcolm Kempt, was not present, so the matter had to be briefly adjourned.
On that day, Dejaeger wore his usual baggy, navy blue prison garb. The elderly Belgian-born man still has a long grey beard and spoke only in whispers with another defense lawyer in court.
Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison this past February, minus eight years for time already spent in pre-trial custody.
That sentence followed a lengthy trial in 2014. Justice Robert Kilpatrick convicted Dejaeger on 24 of 68 charges stemming from his time as a Catholic priest in Igloolik, from 1978 to 1982.
Dejaeger was also sentenced to five years in prison in 1990 when a Northwest Territories Supreme Court judge found him guilty of nine sex crimes committed against children in Baker Lake in the late 1980s.