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Crime

Former arctic priest convicted of child sexual abuse to address court

Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqaluit, Nunavut courtroom Jan. 20, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Windeyer.
Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqaluit, Nunavut courtroom Jan. 20, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Windeyer.

IQALUIT, Nunavut – A defrocked priest who abused a long series of Inuit children is expected today to address the court that is about to sentence him.

Eric Dejaeger, convicted on 32 counts of child sexual abuse, is scheduled to take his second turn on the witness stand in Iqaluit as Justice Robert Kilpatrick considers the length of his prison sentence.

The Crown has asked for 25 years, which would be reduced to 17 once credit for time already served is subtracted.

But Dejaeger’s lawyer said 12 years, of which no more than four would be spent behind bars, would be more along the lines or previous judgments.

Defence counsel Malcolm Kempt says his 67-year-old client is being treated for cancer, suffers from heart problems and fears dying in prison.

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Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss said the former Oblate permanently blighted the lives of his victims with his crimes, which occurred in the Nunavut community of Igloolik about 35 years ago.

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