Priest faces new Nunavut sex charge

Another person is claiming to have been sexually abused by Eric Dejaeger, a Catholic priest who is accused of decades-old crimes against children in Canada's Arctic.

Another person is claiming to have been sexually abused by Eric Dejaeger, a Catholic priest who is accused of crimes against children in Canada's Arctic in the late-1970s and 1980s.

Dejaeger, 63, has been charged with indecent assault based on allegations by a female complainant, Crown prosecutor Paul Bychok announced in an Iqaluit courtroom on Wednesday.

The latest charge means Dejaeger faces a total of 10 criminal charges from six complainants. The other five complainants are male.

In all, Dejaeger is charged with six counts of indecent assault, three counts of buggery, and one count of failure to appear in court.

Most of the charges stem from Dejaeger's time as a Catholic priest in Igloolik, an eastern Arctic community in what is now Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982.

The female complainant is the second to have come forward since Dejaeger was brought back to Canada from Belgium last month.

Bail hearing adjourned

Wednesday's court hearing was meant to be a bail hearing, but the case was adjourned until Friday afternoon. Crown prosecutors said they are waiting for some information from Belgian authorities.

Dejaeger went to Belgium, his country of birth, after he served a jail term in Canada for sex crimes against children in the Nunavut community of Baker Lake. He left Canada around the time that the Igloolik charges were first filed in 1995.

Dejaeger was put on Interpol's list of wanted fugitives after the Nunavut Court of Justice issued warrant for his arrest in 2002.

However, he lived freely in Belgium for almost 16 years until last month, when Belgian immigration officials declared that he had overstayed his legal residency in that country. According to government officials there, the priest gave up his Belgian citizenship when he became a Canadian citizen in 1977.

Dejaeger has been in custody in Iqaluit since he was sent back to Canada in late January.

A group of about 10 people from Igloolik, including some of the alleged victims, attended Wednesday's court hearing. However, no one from the group wanted to speak to the media.