Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 23, 2012 - 12:34 pm

Dejaeger makes brief court appearance in Iqaluit

Crown to file indictment Feb. 6 against former Nunavut priest

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Former Oblate missionary Eric DeJaeger leaves an Iqaluit courtroom Jan. 20, 2011 after his first appearance for six child sexual abuse charges in Igloolik dating back to the 1970s. DeJaeger arrived in Iqaluit after Belgian authorities expelled him from the country over immigration violations. (FILE PHOTO)
Former Oblate missionary Eric DeJaeger leaves an Iqaluit courtroom Jan. 20, 2011 after his first appearance for six child sexual abuse charges in Igloolik dating back to the 1970s. DeJaeger arrived in Iqaluit after Belgian authorities expelled him from the country over immigration violations. (FILE PHOTO)

Roman Catholic priest Father Eric Dejaeger, who faces nearly 40 charges, most of them related to the sexual molestation of children, made a brief appearance in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit Jan. 23.

Prosecutor Scott Hughes said the Crown’s intention was to file an indictment against Dejaeger Jan. 23.

But he said his office is still waiting for some statement transcripts from the investigation and that they were not quite prepared to file.

The matter has been held over until Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m., when the Crown now plans to file the indictment.

Crown prosecutor Paul Bychok told CBC radio they anticipate that Dejaeger will likely waive his right to a preliminary inquiry and elect to be tried by a judge sitting alone.

The list of allegations Dejaeger faces, which has swollen to nearly 40 counts, involves a long list of sex offences involving children alleged to have occurred in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982.

RCMP in Igloolik originally charged Dejaeger with six counts of indecent assault in 1995.

But he fled to Belgium and missed a court appearance on those charges that had been scheduled for July 1995.

Police in Belgium arrested Dejaeger after Belgian authorities discovered he was living there illegally. He had given up his Belgian citizenship in 1977 to become a Canadian citizen.

Belgian officials returned him to Canada in January 2011.

Upon his arrival, police in Canada arrested Dejaeger and transported him to Iqaluit for a first court appearance on the six old charges.

Since then, other complainants have emerged with many more allegations of sexual abuse.

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