A Roman Catholic priest accused of decades-old sex crimes against children in Nunavut now faces more than 30 criminal charges, after three new charges were filed in court.

Three new counts of indecent assault against Eric Dejaeger, 64, were announced in the Nunavut Court of Justice on Monday. Court officials did not have the specific number of charges Dejaeger faces in total.


Eric Dejaeger, left, is escorted out of the Iqaluit courthouse in January, shortly after he was brought to Iqaluit to face three counts each of indecent assault and buggery. The number of charges against him has since grown to more than 30. ((CBC))

The charges, most of which are sex-related, are related to alleged incidents between 1978 and 1982 in Igloolik, Nunavut, where Dejaeger had worked as a missionary.

Dejaeger has been in custody at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit since January, when he was brought to Nunavut to face the charges.

Dejaeger had pleaded guilty in 1990 to nine counts of sex crimes against boys and girls in Baker Lake, another Nunavut community, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

But by the time the Igloolik charges were issued in 2002, Dejaeger was living in Belgium, his country of birth. He was placed on Interpol's list of wanted fugitives.

Dejaeger was brought back to Canada in January after Belgian authorities determined that he had overstayed his legal residency in Belgium.

According to Belgian government officials, the former priest had given up his citizenship in that country when he became a Canadian citizen in 1977.

Dejaeger will stay in custody in Iqaluit until his preliminary hearing is held in February.