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
Iceland: Iceland 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