South Carolina

Youth pastor charged with touching girl at SC Bible camp, deputies say

Peter William Cooper
Peter William Cooper

A former youth pastor is facing more charges in South Carolina after investigators say he inappropriately touched a young girl at a Greenville County Bible camp, according to a statement from the local sheriff’s office.

Peter William Cooper, 63, was working for Central Church of Christ during the more than 40-year-old incident, according to the statement.

Cooper is accused of inappropriately touching a girl who was visiting him at he Palmetto Bible Camp in Marietta between 1976 and 1978, according to the statement. The girl was under the age of 14.

Cooper was charged with lewd acts upon a child.

The investigators opened the case after receiving a tip from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department, who was also looking in to allegations against Cooper.

In Spartanburg County, Cooper is facing similar charges after investigators alleged he groped a 13-year-old girl during a Bible study at her home.

The woman spoke to investigators years after the assault, pointing them towards other victims with similar stories about their interactions with Cooper.

Investigators believe there may be more victims in the Greenville and Spartanburg County areas, according to the statement. Anyone who went through a similar situation is asked to contact their local sheriff’s office.

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.