Rev. Eric Dejaeger, a priest wanted by Nunavut authorities for allegedly abusing Inuit children in Canada’s North was arrested Monday in Bruges, according to Belgian media reports.
Credits: QMI Agency/Image courtesy of Interpol
All 41 complainants will get to testify when a Nunavut priest goes to trial for 76 sex abuse charges alleged to have occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Eric Dejaeger, 65, pleaded not guilty Monday to the indictment stemming from his time in Igloolik and Baker Lake, reports Nunatsiaq News. He is accused of sexually assaulting Inuit children between about 1978 and 1989.
The native of Belgium became a Canadian citizen, studied theology in Edmonton and became a Roman Catholic priest, according to the report.
He has been in custody since January 2011, after Belgian authorities discovered he was back in that country. They returned him to Canada, where police arrested him and flew him to Nunavut.
Crown attorney Barry Nordin told the news outlet Dejaeger's trial will start in Oct. 2013 and is expected to take around 10 weeks because of the large number of alleged victims of his crimes.
"When you have 41 complainants ... the evidence takes a lot longer," Nordin said, as quoted by Nunatsiaq News.
"Each complainant has the right to tell their story, and the defence has a right to cross-examine them about their story, so that takes time."