Second delay for sex case

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Edmonton JournL

29 November 1989

LAURIE SARKADI Journal Northern Bureau

Court proceedings for an Arctic priest facing seven counts of sexual assault have been postponed for the second time this month.

Father Eric Dejaeger, 42, was to have appeared Tuesday in territorial court to set a date for his preliminary hearing.

But lawyer Alan Regel, acting on behalf of the absent priest, had the matter set aside until Dec. 12.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a preliminary hearing,” Regel said outside the courtroom.

He said defence and Crown counsels are discussing waiving the preliminary hearing, which is used to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial, and proceeding directly into Supreme Court.

He said the Crown usually only consents to that procedure “when there’s an indication a guilty plea will be entered in Supreme Court.”

Dejaeger, formerly of Baker Lake, N.W.T., is staying in a Manitoba mission on $10,000 bail and a $75,000 cash bond provided by the Order of the Oblates Marie Immaculate.

The Belgian-born priest was arrested Aug. 21 in Langley, B.C., where he was studying linguistics, following a lengthy investigation by Yellowknife RCMP.

All seven charges stem from incidents alleged to have happened in Baker Lake, 600 km northest of Yellowknife, during the past 10 years.

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