A raging blizzard

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It’s cancelled.  Here’s the answer to my just posted query about the Father Eric Dejager trial:

Defence tests memory of priest’s alleged victims


IQALUIT, Nunavut – The defence lawyer for a priest facing dozens of sex abuse charges involving Inuit children is questioning the memory and motivation of the complainants.

Malcolm Kempt has cross-examined a woman who says Eric Dejaeger (deh-YAY’-guhr) taped her face-down by her wrists and feet to a bed frame and violated her when she was a little girl.

Kempt asked the witness what Dejaeger was wearing at the time and requested she outline specific events around the attack.

He also queried her about a $16,000 out-of-court settlement she got from the Catholic Church.

Kempt has said the memory and credibility of alleged victims about events 30 years ago are key to Dejaeger’s defence.

Court has adjourned due to a raging blizzard in Iqaluit that has shut all government services in the Nunavut capital.

I will post the article separately, but, there is Kempt doing what all defence lawyers do in these cases:  What was Dejeager wearing?  And what about the $16,000 settlement?

$16,000?  Are they serious?  As a little girl she was bound to bed frame and sodomized?  by a Roman Cathoolic priest?  And she was awarded $16,000?

The article says by the Catholic Church, but it must have specifically been by the Oblates and/or perhaps the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay who were sued and then settled.


What Church officials and lawyers deemed $16,000 would be suffice to silence her and send her on her way?

And, another question:  When this suit was filed and settled., where was Dejaeger?  I’ll bet my bottom dollar he was nestled away in Belgium, foot-loose-and-fancy-free.

Did anyone care?  Did anyone really care that this priest  who had done this to this child, was right then free to do it to other children in Belgium?  or, for that matter, free to do it to any child anywhere in Europe?

I guess not.

$16,000.  What an insult to that poor soul.  An outright insult.

And, oh yes, Kempt wants to know what Dejager was wearing?  What was Dejaeger wearing when he tied he/taped  to the bed and sodomized her?

Seriously?  He wants to know?  This will test her memory?

What nonsense.

If he really and truly wants to know what Dejeager was wearing when he attacked that child , why not put Father Eric Dejaeger on the stand and ask him?

Speaking of which, do you suppose there is the remotest chance that Dejager will take the stand in his own defence?

I wonder.  Dejaeger seems to be brazen enough that he just might think he can run circles around everyone.

We shall see

Please keep the complainants in your  prayers.  This is not a good day for them, left sitting around with nothing to do but think and relive the horror.

I pray that all of you up there in Iqaluit are safe and sound -and warm.

Enough for now,


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9 Responses to A raging blizzard

  1. B says:

    The details of this case are horrifying. As are the tact is of the defence lawyer. Why is it that during molestation cases, children who were horrifically traumatized are expected to remember the sorts of tiny details that most kids don’t pick up on to prove their credibility, while the perpetrators, church officials, administrators, etc, are allowed to get away with saying, it’s been so long that I’m afraid I just don’t remember any more? It’s such a frustrating double standard.

    • Sylvia says:

      They’re not really expected to remember the details B. It’s a defence tactic. It’s something defence lawyers pull out of their little black book to try to make the witness look like a liar and in the process unsettle the witness.

      Test your own memory. Everyone. Give it a try. Look back on several significant events in your life, both in the distant and recent past. Then see how much you recall of the ancillary details, ….such as what were people wearing.

      I did this myself some years ago after realizing that this happens frequently when victims are testifying, and defence lawyers lay them out in lavender and try to piant them as as liars when they fail to remember small and often insignificant details. It was an interesting experiment.

      I will blog on this later.

  2. B says:

    I understand what you’re saying, yet have seen cases where the judge decides the victims are unreliable because they don’t remember enough details. I know that I wouldn’t remember details from the general past that didn’t interest me at the time–and that there’s only 1 memory, of all the episodes in which I was abused, that involves the abuser’s clothing.

    • Sylvia says:

      A good Crown should be able to square away any questions created by defence on the whole issue of memory, either through re-direct, or by calling an expert witness to testify how memory functions. I’m not talking about someone who is obviously lying, but the routine situations where a victim remembers the abuse, and virtually every sordid detail, but draws a blank on such things as what the molester was wearing.

      When victims are asked such questions they immediately feel that they should know the answer, and if they don’t they’re in trouble. That is just should not be true. They shold know before they take the stand that such questions are bound to be asked, just as they should know that if they have launched a lawsuit or are considering doing so they will inevitably be labelled a money grubber, and depending upon their age at the time of the abuse there may be much ado about age and a great push to try to place the abuse at a time when the victim had reached the age of consent and according to defence ‘consented’ because he/she didn’t scream “no.”

      Yes, evidence must be tested. But let’s be realistic, and let’s ensure that witnesses are not unjustly denounced and ridiculed for failing to recall trivial details which few of us commit to memory.

  3. Agnes says:

    You did a really good job today, Sylvia – you are the voice through the blizzard.

    I am pleased about that anasthesiologist in Toronto, found guilty today….the defense lawyers questioned all of those victims too – their memories – though, they all, obviously, had similar stories. Even the long upstanding investigators had tears in their eyes when the guilty verdict was read.

    The truth comes out. It is a long road, but worth it.

    Keep fighting and praying, all.

  4. Eve says:


    From Nunavut to Lourdes
    Posted by PZ Myers on October 4, 2010
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    Eric Dejaeger is a Catholic priest and pedophile who benefited greatly from church policy: when it was learned that he was a child-raping monster, the Catholic Church did the upright, moral thing and kept him on as a priest, but simply shipped him off to the Canadian north where he’d only be raping the Inuit. When the law caught up with him even in that remote place, he fled…and guess where he found shelter and employment? Back in the arms of Mother Church, of course.

    The Belgian-born priest, who became a Canadian citizen in 1977, is wanted for three counts of indecent assault on a male and three counts of buggery for incidents involving minors and alleged to have occurred between 1978 and 1982 in Igloolik. These charges were laid after he completed a five-year sentence in April of 1995 (a penitentiary stint, a halfway house then probation) for abusing children in Baker Lake, then part of the Northwest Territories, now part of Nunavut. Dejaeger left Canada before his first court date in June of 1995 and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

    Six years later, the Interpol red alert was circulated. Nine years after that, in May of this year, Belgian journalist Douglas De Coninck published an article detailing Dejaeger’s life on the lam. The priest worked with pilgrims in Lourdes and participated in masses. A member of the Oblate Order of Mary Immaculate, he was living at the order’s villa in Blanden. Several months after the article appeared, Dejaeger voluntarily turned himself in at the Leuven police station.

    Unfortunately, the Belgian police just turned him loose again, stating that there was no extradition order from Canada. He’s on the run again. Given his history, I can guess where we’ll find him: turn over a few churches, and he’ll be found nestling amongst the friendly priests.

    But let’s not just blame religion! There’s also another nasty story here, of secular authorities turning a blind eye to his activities. He’d been brought before a Canadian judge who didn’t seem to think Dejaeger was such a bad fellow.

    Oddly, Justice Ted Richard of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court wrote in his sentence decision that Dejaeger was not a pedophile even though “it does not appear that he stopped this activity on his own but only when he was caught.” It’s unclear how he was caught.

    Dejaeger admitted to, among other sexual acts, having anal intercourse with boys and digital vaginal penetration with girls. Yet Richard seemed to praise the priest’s restraint:

    “Because of the age of the victims of these assaults, consent is not an issue or a factor to be considered. However, it should be noted in fairness to the offender here that no violence was used in committing these assaults,” Richard wrote 20 years ago.

    Priests don’t use violence, usually. They’ve got the shackles of tradition and dogma to hold their victims down for them.

    And of course the real crime here is that these monsters in dog collars were dumped on the native peoples of Canada to rip their way through several generations, and there is no sign of remorse for that from the Vatican.

    Note the judges comments unbelievable

    • Sylvia says:

      Yes, Eve. and click here to read Justice Ted Richard’s Reasons for Judgement here It was always bad enough as it was, but read it now in light of what we are no hearing from Iqaluit. And weep.

      Because Dejager entered a guilty plea we get the sanitized version of the abuse Dejaeger heaped upon his unfortunate young victims. But, take a look at the sanitized version, and then look at Justice Reichard’s rationale sentencing Dejager to five years.

      Not only did Richard not beleive that Dejaeger was a paedophile, he made excuses for him and in essence normalized his perversion:

      “…. this is simply a case of a lonely man who had normal sexual urges…”???

      There is nothing normal about sexually abusing a child. Nothing. Never. All the rationalizing and justifying in the world do not normalize it. Millstones. Perhaps Justice Richard never heard about the biblical millstones either? A number of our bishops don;t seem to know. Perhaps the same holds true for Justice Richard?

      Note too the following: “I am going to take into account his previous good character.”

      Where did the judge get that idea? What p[revious good character? Father Eric Dejager was in Igloolik before he landed in Baker Lake. We now have a pretty good idea of what he was doing in Igloolik. Horrific. Truly horrific. So, where did this notion of “previous good character” come from?

      And this. Look at this:

      “I do not enjoy the thought of sending an ordained priest to jail for a long period of time, but the law and the oath that I have taken requires that I do so.”

      If he were not obliged to send him off to jail he wouldn’t? IS that what he’s saying here? What did he thing should be done with this priest who sexually abused these children? What was his answer? Set him free?

      And this. Look at this:

      “in fairness to the offender here, that no violence was used in committing these assaults.”

      One example. A nine-year-old boy was sodomized. The judge doesn’t think that’s an act of violence? Is he serious?!

      Another. A ten-year-old boy. Same thing. Long term. No violence?

      Anyway, read the document. Read it now that you know what Dejaeger was up to before he arrived in Baker Lake.

  5. michel bertrand says:

    Every depraved act was violent

  6. B says:

    I’m appalled by the judge’s lack of concern for the ruined lives of innocent children.

    I’m also angry about all the stupid distinctions made by the “experts.” They want to believe that they can cure pedophiles, and so they make all sorts of categories–if these men are aroused by children over a certain age, then they aren’t actually pedophiles; if they only go after children because they’re “lonely” or isolated but are also aroused by adults, then they’re not really pedophiles; if they deny getting any sexual pleasure from their acts, they must not really be pedophiles, etc etc. And lawyers leap onto these supposed distinctions.

    Let’s get real. Any man who forces himself onto someone below the age of consent is a pedophile. After that age, he is a rapist. And they need to be tried as such, and then prevented from ever reoffending… because they will.

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