Nunavut judge dismisses three charges as priest trial resumes
Defence alleges lack of evidence in seven other charges
Three of 80 charges against Father Eric Dejaeger were thrown out of court by Justice Robert Kilpatrick Jan. 20 at the resumption of his sex abuse trial at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.
That’s because one of the complainants did not show up to testify during the Crown’s case, which started Nov. 18, 2013.
Jan. 20 was the first day back for the judge-alone trial after the Crown rested its case against the 66-year-old former Oblate priest Dec. 12.
Defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt began his case by making motions for 10 “non-suit applications” — which are intended to dismiss charges.
Kilpatrick immediately threw out the first three charges stemming from the absent complainant, because no evidence had been entered in court to back up those charges of assault, indecent assault and abstaining from reporting suspicious activity.
Kempt identified seven other charges he wants dismissed, alleging a lack of evidence presented by Crown witnesses.
Most of those charges include a variety of sexual assaults and assaults.
In one case, Kempt says an allegation that Dejaeger inserted his penis or his finger into a male’s anus is unclear.
In another case, he said there had been no evidence of vaginal intercourse presented during a witness’s testimony.
Crown prosecutors Doug Curliss and Scott Hughes told Kilpatrick they need time to review the motions and to look at transcripts, so court was adjourned.
They expect to offer responses to the seven non-suit applications later in the afternoon of Jan. 20.
Dejaeger appeared in court Jan. 20 wearing a standard prison-issued blue sweat suit and sporting a long grey beard reaching down to his chest. He did not speak to anyone.
Crown prosecutors are expecting Kempt to call Dejaeger to the stand at some point during upcoming proceedings.