A Canadian judge has found a former Roman Catholic priest guilty of 24 of the 70-plus sex-related charges he faced involving Inuit children more than 30 years ago.

Defrocked Oblate priest Eric Dejaeger had already pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual assault when his trial began last December.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick wrote in his decision Friday that the case was weakened by the length of time that had passed between when the assaults allegedly happened and the trial.

Dejaeger was returned to Canada from Belgium in 2011 for an immigration violation, not on extradition. A Belgian journalist realized that Dejaeger had lost his Belgian citizenship in 1977 when he became a naturalized Canadian. He had been living in Belgium since 1995 without a visa.