Eric Dejaeger ‘has a strong motive to lie:’ Crown
The Crown prosecutor questioned Eric Dejaeger's credibility and character during his closing submission today in Iqaluit.
Dejaeger, 67, is on trial for dozens of charges of sex offences against children dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut in the 1970s and ‘80s.
This morning, Crown Doug Curliss said Eric Dejaeger is a well-educated, relatively sophisticated person, who used his position of power as a priest to commit various criminal offences.
Curliss said Dejaeger cannot be trusted, and that he has a strong motive to lie.
Curliss pointed out that when Dejaeger learned of the many charges in this case, he chose to flee to Belgium.
The Crown also referenced Dejaeger's criminal record.
Dejaeger was convicted of 10 sexual assaults in the 1990s from when he worked as a priest in Baker Lake.
Curliss says this also speaks to Dejaeger's morality and character.
The Crown also addressed the reliability of the complainants' testimony, which Dejaeger’s defence lawyer had called into question.
Over 40 people testified at the trial, mostly alleged victims and two church workers.
The complainants allege the sex abuse happened while camping, at the mission, during confessions and during sleepovers at the church.
Curliss says the witnesses, especially those who worked at the church in Igloolik at the time, gave the court context and detail about what exactly went on at the mission.
The Crown and defence lawyers will now have a chance to respond to each others' submissions.
The closing arguments are expected to wrap-up this week.