Former Arctic priest found guilty on several sex charges
IQALUIT, Nunavut – A Nunavut judge has found a former Roman Catholic priest guilty of 24 of the more than 70 sex-related charges he faced involving Inuit children more than 30 years ago.
Defrocked Oblate priest Eric Dejaeger had already pleaded guilt to eight counts of sexual assault when his trial began in December.
In his written decision, Justice Robert Kilpatrick noted that the quantity of evidence in the case had been substantially weakened by the passage of time.
The trial was marked by high emotion and lurid tales.
Witness after witness told court that Dejaeger used his position as Igloolik’s missionary to lure and trap them into sex, threatening them with hellfire or separation from their families if they told.
Dejaeger’s lawyer questioned the credibility of many of those accounts, but the Crown argued that enough common themes emerged from the testimony that the stories from the victims hold together.
© 2014 The Canadian Press