NEWS

Eric Dejaeger used food as lure into sexual assault, woman testifies

11/20/2013 01:52 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
A witness testifying at the trial of a priest accused of sexual assault told a court in Iqaluit on Wednesday that the accused once used food to lure her.

The 41-year-old woman said her family in Igloolik, Nunavut, was sometimes hungry for days at a time between 1978 and 1982, the years when Eric Dejaeger was the priest in the remote community.

The Roman Catholic priest, 66, is on trial for dozens of sexual abuse charges, relating to incidents alleged to have occurred while Dejaeger was in Igloolik.

Some shocking allegations have already been made in court this week, including alleged abuse against young girls, boys and animals.

The witness this morning testified that she was sexually assaulted numerous times by Dejaeger. She told the court how her grandmother, who was raising her, often sent her to the church for a meal.

The witness said that after one such meal, when she was eight years old, Dejaeger took her upstairs and raped her.

She says she was bleeding after the assault and Dejaeger took her into the bathroom to clean herself up, then spread garbage bags on his bedroom couch so she wouldn't stain it.

The witness says she told her grandmother about the assault, but she says the woman didn't believe her and beat her.

She says she stopped going to school after the assault so she didn't have to face Dejaeger during after-class Bible study.

The woman was shaking and crying as she testified and was allowed to sip pop in court to calm down. She continued her testimony and alleged she saw Dejaeger having sex with a dog.

Another time, she says she and a friend had to sit on Dejaeger's legs and fondle him.

While she tried to forget what happened, she says as an adult she would hit her kids when she thought of Dejaeger.

Another witness, the sixth of the trial, is expected to take the stand this afternoon.

MORE:cbcNews