Former priest appears in Iqaluit court on sex charges

Erik Jose Dejaeger, who was a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, briefly appeared in court in Iqaluit Monday morning. Crown prosecutors asked the judge for more time to collect statements before filing an indictment.

Erik Jose Dejaeger was priest in Igloolik

A man who faces more than 30 sex-related charges stemming from his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, appeared briefly in an Iqaluit courtroom Monday morning.

Dejaeger was to be arraigned Monday on the new charges against him but Crown prosecutors asked the court for more time. They said they want to continue collecting statements before filing an indictment.

Dejaeger will appear in court again on Feb. 6.

The charges against Erik Jose Dejaeger, 64, deal with incidents that allegedly happened when he was a Roman Catholic priest in Igloolik between 1978 and1982.

He originally faced six charges but now that number has increased to 39.

This was Dejaeger’s first appearance in person in a year, but after a few minutes he was escorted back to the Baffin Correctional Institute where he has been held since arriving in Nunavut in January 2011.

Erik Jose Dejaeger, 64, appeared in an Iqaluit courtroom Monday morning. He faces more than 30 sex-related charges from his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982. (CBC)

Dejaeger also faces charges from incidents that are alleged to have happened in Edmonton between 1975 and 1978, before his time as a priest in Igloolik.

Dejaeger fled Canada in 1995 and lived in Belgium for 16 years until he was returned to Nunavut in early 2011.  

Prior to that, he had been convicted of crimes against children while working as a priest in Baker Lake, Nunavut, between 1982 and 1987. In April 1990 he was convicted of nine charges, including sexual assault and indecent assault.

He was sentenced to five years in prison for those crimes. He fled Canada around the same time as allegations from Igloolik began to surface.