Dejaeger Appeals Dismissed

Iqaluit, Nunavut – November 27, 2018 – On November 23, 2018, the Nunavut Court of Appeal released its decisions in R v Dejaeger. The Court dismissed both the defence’s conviction and sentence appeals.

In its reasons for dismissing the sentence appeal, the Court stated that “a 19-year sentence falls squarely within the guidance offered in other similar cases for prolonged courses of sexual violence against children by persons in positions of trust and authority.”

In 2015, Eric Dejaeger was sentenced to 19 years in prison for his crimes, namely 31 counts of sexual offences against children and one count of bestiality. Most of the crimes were committed in the Hamlet of Igloolik in what was then the Northwest Territories, where he was one of the local priests, between 1978 and 1982. Mr. Dejaeger had been previously sentenced for similar crimes committed in the hamlet of Baker Lake but fled to Belgium where he remained until he was deported to Canada in 2011 after being stripped of his Belgian citizenship.

Mr. Dejaeger inflicted significant harm upon large numbers of vulnerable children over a long period of time. He avoided Canadian justice for 15 years while living in Belgium. This is a significant case for the administration of Canadian justice and for the communities of Igloolik and Baker Lake in Nunavut who continue to live with the legacy of his crimes.

Eric Dejaeger has 60 days to decide whether he will seek leave to appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada is responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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