Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger spoke in his own defence January 21 at his trial in Iqaluit.

His appearance marked the first time he has addressed the court.  

Dejaeger faces dozens of charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of Inuit children.

He has pleaded guilty to eight of the charges.

Dejaeger told the court he wanted "to take responsibility for his actions," relating to those eight charges.  

Defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt lead the former oblate priest to discuss his eight guilty pleas, one by one. 

According to Dejaeger, the eight incidents of sexual abuse took place in his bedroom at the mission and involved only young boys. 

In each case, Dejaeger claimed he touched the boys on the crotch, over their pants. He told the court this happened once only with each child. 

Kempt then questioned Dejaeger about the other charges of sexual abuse, some of which involved girls. Dejaeger said "that didn't happen."

Dejaeger told the court the allegations are "not true at all" and presented a very different version of events that what is alleged by complainants and the prosecution. 

He also told the court he never was involved in any sexual acts with dogs.

Dejaeger spoke calmly and several times stumbled as his first language is Flemish. On those occasions the court Justice asked him to slow down and speak more clearly. 

Later this week Dejaeger will face cross-examination from the prosecutor.