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Eric Dejaeger sentencing: Crown asks for 25 years, minus time served

01/21/2015 05:45 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT
Crown prosecutor Doug Curliss is asking for a sentence of 25 years for Eric Dejaeger's crimes, minus the time the former Oblate priest has already served. 

Dejaeger, 67, was convicted last year on 32 counts of child sexual abuse dating back to his time as a priest in Igloolik, Nunavut, between 1978 and 1982. 

In an Iqaluit courtroom this morning, Curliss listed each of Dejaeger's 32 offences and asked for consecutive sentences, ranging from 9 months to 8 years, for each. While his proposed sentence added up to 79.5 years, Curliss told the court that by applying the principle of totality, "a combined sentence should not be unduly long or harsh." He said a sentence of 25 years would be appropriate.

Dejaeger has been in jail since January 2011.  His time served to date adds up to 4 years. With a credit of 2 for 1 that would mean Curliss is asking for another 17 years in jail.

This is the third day in a row that victims and their families have filled the Nunavut Court of Justice, at times both sad and angry.

On Monday and Tuesday, 18 of his victims described to the court how those events affected them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Some said they have either lost or found faith in the process. One woman quoted the Bible, saying the former priest did not know God. Another said he won't baptize his daughter. He, like most of the others who made statements, said they turned instead to drugs and alcohol to "numb the pain and shame."

Later today, defence lawyer Malcolm Kempt will make his recommendation for the amount of time Dejaeger should serve. He has not yet said what he will be seeking.

Crown prosecutor Barry Nordin says there will probably not be a final decision from Justice Robert Kilpatrick this week.

The CBC's Peter Worden will be reporting again from the courtroom on Twitter and right here... at 1:30 pm eastern.

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