Ex-priest sentenced for sexual abuse of children in Canada’s Arctic

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Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqualuit courtroom in the northern territory of Nunavut on Jan. 20, 2011. Today he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for dozens of horrific sex crimes against aboriginal children. (Chris Windeyer/Canadian Press)
Eric Dejaeger leaves an Iqualuit courtroom in the northern territory of Nunavut on Jan. 20, 2011. Today he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for dozens of horrific sex crimes against aboriginal children.
(Chris Windeyer/Canadian Press)
Defrocked priest Eric Dejaeger, found guilty of sexually abusing children in northern Canada, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.  Given the time he has already served behind bars, 11 years are left in the sentence.

Dejaeger was found guilty last year of 32 counts of child sexual abuse during his time as a priest in Igloolik, an Inuit community in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut,  beteween 1978 and 1982.

His victims included 12 boys and 10 girls, most between the ages of eight and 12. He sometimes dangled food before hungry children to lure them, and once abused a dog in front of two children. Many of the victims testified they were threatened with hellfire or separation from their families if they told others about the abuse.

‘Devastated a generation’

“Your selfishness has devastated a generation of young Roman Catholic parishioners in Igloolik,” Justice Robert Kilpatrick wrote in his sentencing decision.

“Many lives have been irrevocably altered by your dark legacy. For many victims, the commission of your offence has marked the end of living and the beginning of their survival. You must now atone for the many wrongs that you have inflicted on others. This sentence is only the beginning of that atonement.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  PInclude communities in crime prevention, says Arctic Canadian politician, CBC News

IcelandIceland has first fatal police shooting, The Associated Press

Russia:  Service reindeer for police in Russia’s Arctic, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Reports of violent crime increasing in Sweden’s North, Radio Sweden

United States:  Bill to improve village safety not enough says Alaska tribal judge, Alaska Public Radio Network

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Lynn Desjardins, Radio Canada International

Lynn Desjardins, Radio Canada International

For more news from around the world visit Radio Canada International.

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