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

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

CBC News Posted: Mar 19, 2015 11:49 AM CTLast Updated: Mar 19, 2015 11:49 AM CT

Ex-priest Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqaluit, Nunavut courtroom Jan. 20, 2011. Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison after being found guilty of 32 sex-related charges. He was back in court this week facing three outstanding charges from Alberta.

Ex-priest Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqaluit, Nunavut courtroom Jan. 20, 2011. Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison after being found guilty of 32 sex-related charges. He was back in court this week facing three outstanding charges from Alberta. (Chris Windeyer/The Canadian Press)

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.

5 Responses to Eric Dejaeger, ex-priest convicted of child sex abuse, back in court

  1. Sylvia says:

    ” …transferring charges from one jurisdiction to another can take time…”

    The Edmonton charges were laid November 2011. How much time does it take?

    And, a question for everyone: Do you believe that in those cases where a plea deal is brokered that victims whose charges have thus been ‘transferred’ to a distant jurisdiction should be offered the opportunity – should they so desire -to attend the proceedings and look their molester in the eye in the new jurisdiction? I do. I feel very strongly about this. I realize that some victims prefer never to lay eyes on their molester, but others do – for some it’s another small step in this painful and lengthy process called “closure.”

    So, Eric Dejaeger asked to have the charges moved to Nunavut. What of his victims? Does he care what they might want?

    Perhaps Dejaeger should pick up the tab to get each victim accompanied by one support person up to Nunavut? If he wants the charges dealt with in Nunavut then why not let him pay to give his victims an opportunity to be there in person? Is this just all about what Dejeager wants? What of his victims?

    Perhaps the whole cost package could be split between Dejaeger, the Nunavut Crowns and the Edmonton Crowns?

    Remember that those victims from Igloolik who chose to do so were flown were flown in to Iqaluit to give their Victim Impact Statements? and rightly so. Should the same measure of compassion not be afforded the victims from Edmonton?

    Thoughts?

  2. 1yellowknife says:

    Yes, the Edmonton accusers should be able to face Eric de Jaeger in a court of law. That Eric’s team was able to move this to Iqaluit is not their problem and one wonders if they were consulted.

    Judge Kilpatrick may be able to make a decision regarding this. Does anyone know?

    If inmates can be flown across the country — why can’t those who had the courage to bring their testimony (which resulted in the charges) be supported in attending the court in Iqaluit.

    Video link is not dependable enough. Video link does not have the same impact for the victims. So lets not even go there.

    Should (interjurisdictional) funding for their transportation and accommodation not come about in a timely manner, the Oblates, who dumped him in Canada, should be told to pay. (Can Judge Kirkpatrick/ Justice Gov. Nunvuat make that happen, one wonders?)

    Finally, I suggest the Edmonton accusers be given a support person for travel AND a local escort familiar with the Nunavut justice system and other factors. A local guide for their Iqaluit stay.

    Ensuring the Edmonton accusers come to the Iqaluit trial could be beneficial to their healing and to the healing of the Igloolik victims. It will break the isolation for both and will enable all to demonstrate to Dejaeger: “There is no place to hide – your deviant behaviour will be named and exposed — no matter where in Canada it occured”.

    • Sylvia says:

      Yes, good point 1yellowknife: if all else fails the Oblates could pay.

      I’m not sure if Justice Kilpatrick could do that. It would probably mean a courtdate – doubtful that a courtdate would be set to discuss financing such trips? But, I don’t know.

      And, yes, a local guide is a good idea. I think too it is a given that a counsellor be on hand?

  3. 1yellowknife says:

    Sylvia: I believe the Edmonton attendees will receive great encourgement from the massive awareness which now exists in the north regarding EDJ misdeeds. (This is partly because of the excellent reporting from northern media and partly the fact that we are small in numbers and interconnected.) This awareness simply does not exist elsewhere in Canada.

    Should they be provided the opportunity, I hope they have the courage and willingness to make the trip to the Iqaluit courtroom.

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