Sheboygan family shares its story of priest abuse to help others come forward

Sheboygan Press

Written by
Janet Ortegon

Adam Sprenger’s parents suspected for years that something horrible had happened to their son.

It took 10 years and a random piece of mail — a mysterious credit card bill for an astronomical amount of money — for the truth to come out.

And the truth was nightmarish: When he was about 12, Adam was assaulted by his priest.

Adam, who is now 36 and living in Minnesota, agreed to let his parents tell the family’s story. Though he’s put the trauma behind him, the Sprenger family hopes that telling Adam’s story will encourage other victims to come forward.

The Rev. Bill Effinger, pastor of Holy Name Parish from 1972 to 1992, took Adam under his wing in 1987 to help the boy consider a possible future in the priesthood. After two overnight trips, Adam stopped talking about wanting to be a priest.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.