Former Arctic priest accused of sex abuse under cross-examination

IQALUIT, Nunavut – A Crown prosecutor is trying to poke holes in the testimony of a former priest who denies sexually abusing dozens of Inuit children while posted in a remote Arctic community.

Eric Dejaeger is on the witness stand for a second day in a courtroom in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

He has pleaded guilty to eight counts, but denies the remaining 68 assaults he’s accused of committing between 1978 and 1982 when he was an Oblate missionary in Igloolik.

The Crown repeatedly questioned Dejaeger’s claim that he never once listened to confessions because he didn’t speak the Inuktitut language well enough.

Some of the victims have testified the abuse took place during confessionals.

Under cross-examination, Dejaeger says it was his job to serve people and he did perform mass, baptisms and weddings.

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