Three days after Christine Lundberg abruptly resigned as Springfield mayor, her son Benjamin Lundberg, 39, was arrested on 10 counts of encouraging child sex abuse.
According to a press release from Springfield Police Department, Benjamin Lundberg’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation into child pornography involving Springfield and Eugene police departments, as well as Internet Crimes Against Children, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing over 4,500 federal, state, and local police agencies.
On Aug. 13, a search warrant was served at his residence in west Springfield. According to a Tweet by KEZI’s assistant news director Bob Schaper, Springfield police said Benjamin had lived with Christine Lundberg.
Police seized numerous digital devices owned by Benjamin Lundberg, and a forensic examination revealed evidence of encouraging child sex abuse, according to Springfield police.
According to Oregon law, encouraging child sexual abuse in the first degree is when someone knowingly develops, duplicates, prints, displays, finances or possesses visual recordings of sexually explicit conduct involving a child. If convicted, it is a Class B felony.
This isn’t Benjamin’s first run-in with the law. In 2017, he was found guilty of 27 counts of criminal mischief when slashed car tires in downtown Eugene.
In 2014, Benjamin was voted “Sexiest Bartender” by Eugene Weekly voters, a contest that has long since been discontinued. The story on the EW website has been updated to reflect the charges.
Christine Lundberg hasn’t confirmed whether her son’s actions led to her resignation, but at a special session on Aug. 17, the Springfield City Council lamented her sudden departure from leadership, which Councilor Sheri Moore said she was shocked and concerned for the now former mayor.
“We are as a council concerned for her and the city,” Moore said.
Update: As of Nov. 9, 2022 Benjamin Lundberg is in Lane County Jail. He has a settlement conference scheduled for Nov. 23 and is scheduled for a jury trial in January 2023.
Update: As of March 31, 2023: Lundberg was sentenced to 10 years in prison for encouraging child sex abuse, The Register-Guard reports.