THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Deacon Richard Elfering Charged With 2nd Degree Sexual Assault
Issue Date: June 23, 2022
Richard "Rick" Elfering, long-time deacon at St. Augustine Parish, Wausaukee; St. Mary Parish, Crivitz; and St. Agnes Parish, Amberg, was arrested on Wednesday, June 8 and charged with second degree sexual assault for inappropriately touching his mentally handicapped adult adopted daughter.
On Friday, June 10 Marinette County Circuit Court Judge James A. Morrison made a probable cause determination.
At an Initial Appearance on Thursday, June 16 cash bond was set at $1,000, and Elfering was ordered to have no contact with the victim and no conversations with his wife, Jennifer, about the victim. Jennifer Elfering is the alleged victim's legal guardian.
According to the police report, when he was arrested at his home on June 8 Elfering had told officers he had not sexually assaulted his daughter, never touched her, and did not know why she would make those allegations.
The complaint reported Elfering was cooperative at home on June 8 before being handcuffed and taken to Marinette County jail in the squad car of Crivitz Police officer
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27 in Marinette County Circuit Court.
During the Initial Appearance on June 16 the prosecution was represented by Prosecuting Attorney Kathryn Heineck, and Elfering, who was in custody, appeared by ZOOM. He was represented by Attorney Christopher T. Froelich, who also appeared by ZOOM.
If convicted of the Class C felony, Elfering could face a fine of not more than $100,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 40 years.
Investigation was carried out by officers of Marinette County Sheriff Department and Crivitz Police Department. The contacts allegedly took place between March 13 and May 23 of this year, after the young woman had moved out of the Elfering home and into her own apartment in Crivitz. She is employed at Wausaukee Enterprises, where most of the employees have some type of cognitive disabilities.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were told that Elfering had come to his step-daughter's apartment several times before going to work at about 2 a.m., undressed her and touched her inappropriately. The visits lasted perhaps 10 to 15 minutes. The complaint says Elfering had a key to her apartment, and she told investigators she had not been fully awake during his visits, but they "made her feel weird."
Since the last incident, which happened on May 23, the young woman said she had been placing a chair in front of the door so her step father could not get in.
Jennifer and Richard Elfering have served as foster parents and adoptive parents for numerous children over the years. He was ordained as a deacon in May of 2015.