Sunday 20 October 2019

Ex-cleric guilty of sex assault walks free

Nicholas Lundberg leaving CCJ, Parkgate Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Nicholas Lundberg leaving CCJ, Parkgate Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

A former cleric has walked free from court despite pleading guilty to indecent assaulting a 10-year-old boy over 50 years ago.

Nicholas Lundberg (75), of St Werburgh in Swords, had the case against him struck out, with the facts deemed proven.

Judge Anthony Halpin said the victim had sought and received compensation from the accused a decade before making a complaint to gardai about the sexual assault.

The judge said that the victim's "primary duty" was to report the offence to the gardai. The judge noted that the offence had not been reported to gardai in a "timely" manner.

Lundberg is the former editor of the Irish Catholic magazine.

He pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to indecent assault on a pupil at a Raheny school in 1963.

The evidence heard in the case was that when Lundberg was a 24-year-old teacher he invited his victim to his home on trust and brought him into a room which he then locked.

"He put a blindfold on me and walked me around the room, asking me to touch things like the furniture, and then told me to touch parts of him like his nose or his chin," the victim told the Herald. "He took my hand and touched his penis with it, using it to rub him.

"He told me not to tell anyone, that he had permission from the parish priest to 'test me'. Of course, there was no test and the priest had no idea, but I didn't know that."

Lundberg has no previous convictions, expressed remorse, and had pleaded guilty.

"It wasn't until the Goldenbridge revelations broke that I realised what had happened. It hit me like a tonne of bricks," the victim told the Herald.


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