Posted 2 years ago

By Post Staff

Mark LindburgFormer Hemingford Police Chief Mark Lindburg has been sentenced to 20-to-24 years in prison for a sexual relationship with a teenage girl while chief.

The 53-year-old Lindburg had pleaded No Contest on July 10 to an amended charge of Attempted 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Minor.

Lindburg, who resigned as Hemingford chief in November 2011, will also have to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.  Under Nebraska’s Good Time Law, Lindburg will be eligible for parole in 10 years.   He was given credit for 206 days served in jail.

Lindburg served as Hemingford police chief from November, 2006 until he resigned in November, 2011. Prior to that, he a Box Butte County deputy sheriff.

Lindburg, who was sobbing while addressing the court, apologized for his actions and stated he knows he will be judged by others.

“I’ve already suffered through various forms of punishment,” he stated.  “I believe a period of probation and time already served in jail would be appropriate for my actions.”

District Court Judge Travis O’Gorman disagreed.

“You wrote me a letter and stated that the sex was consensual,” the judge noted.  “You know better than that.  A 53-year-old man does not have consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl.  You violated your position of trust.   You violated your duty to protect and serve by preying on a child.  Your actions have altered this child’s course of life.”

Prosecuting Attorney Matt Lierman of the Nebraska Attorney General’s office stated that Lindburg had abused his position of power and trust for over a year and described Lindburg as a “wrecking ball” for his family, the victim, and the Hemingford community-at-large.

Lindburg’s attorney, Box Butte County Public Defender Dave Eubanks, noted that Lindburg had cooperated fully with law enforcement and took responsibility for his actions by entering a no contest plea, thus saving the victim and her family the anxiety of going through a trial.

The case began shortly before Lindburg’s resignation when the parents of a Hemingford girl found a text message on her cell phone from someone asking to have sex with her that night. The parents called the number of Lindburg answered and identified himself.

The parents contacted authorities and a Nebraska State Patrol investigation was begun. It revealed that the girl would sneak out of her house at night and Lindburg would pick her up in a police car while on duty.

The girl’s father at one point confronted Lindburg about the relationship, and the girl also admitted to it. Her diary, discovered by her parents, showed she began seeing Lindburg in 2009, and first had sexual intercourse with him in June of 2010, when she was 15.