Former RC priest faces more sex charges

Alleged incidents involving a minor took place between 1975 and 1978

By SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

POSTMEDIA NEWS

EDMONTON — A former Catholic priest faces new charges of assaulting a minor in Edmonton more than three decades ago, in addition to the 20 sex-related charges he has not yet answered to in a Nunavut court, police said Monday.

Edmonton police have charged Erik Jose Dejaeger, 64, with one count each of indecent assault and gross indecency in connection to a series of alleged incidents involving a minor between 1975 and 1978.

Det. Barb Clover released few details about the charges, which stemmed from a complaint made to police in April 2011. She did not say Monday whether the alleged victim was male or female, only that the person was under 18 in the late 1970s. She said Dejaeger would have been in a position of authority, but was not working as a priest in Edmonton during that period.

Dejaeger was sentenced in 1990 to five years in prison for sexually assaulting five females and two males in Baker Lake. In 1995, he went back to Belgium, where he was born. He has Canadian citizenship.

In January 2011, Dejaeger was returned to Canada to face 20 charges in connection to complaints in Nunavut from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“Right now we just have one victim [in Edmonton], whereas up in Baffin Island they have over 30,” Clover said. “So we’re thinking that if we put this out, there potentially could be more people out there that have been affected by this fellow, and we do urge them to come forward if that’s what they’d like to do.”

Dejaeger is expected to appear in an Edmonton courtroom Dec. 2 after being transferred from the Baffin Correctional Centre in Nunavut. A preliminary hearing on the Nunavut charges is scheduled to start in February 2012.

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