Former Catholic Priest Guilty Of Raping Dozens Of Kids, Sled Dog

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A defrocked Catholic priest was convicted of 31 counts of sexual offenses against children and one count of bestiality in Canada on Friday.

Belgian-born Eric Dejaeger, 67, was found guilty of raping dozens of children and a sled dog in the Canadian Arctic while he worked there as a missionary.

More than 20 of his victims who testified in court were from Igloolik, an Inuit hamlet with a population of about 2,000 on the shore of the Northwest Passage, the Iqaluit court clerk told AFP.

Dejaeger worked in Igloolik from 1978 to 1982 and eventually became a Canadian citizen.

Victims said he used his position to lure and trap them into sex while threatening them with hellfire and separation from their families.

In 1990, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail for sexually assaulting eight children in Baker Lake, Nunavut, Sky News reported. Facing more allegations, he fled to Belgium, where he was arrested in 2011 and extradited to Canada.

He pleaded guilty to eight out of 80 counts against him when his trial began in November 2013.

He is scheduled to appear in court in January for sentencing.

Sources: Sky News, Yahoo! News

Image source: Flickr Creative Commons / Emma