State - Regional

Pastor intern faces SC sex abuse charges from 40 years ago

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A former pastor intern now living in Alabama has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse in South Carolina more than 40 years ago.

Spartanburg County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Bobo said in a news release that 63-year-old Peter William Cooper of Elmore, Alabama, has been returned to South Carolina to face a charge of a lewd act on a minor in 1976.

Bobo said deputies began investigating after an investigator with the Robertsdale, Alabama Police Department called in October. That agency had received a complaint about sexual abuse but could not charge the suspect.

Bobo said investigators determined Cooper was a youth intern pastor at Central Church of Christ in Spartanburg in 1976 and the offense occurred at the victim's home during a Bible study.

Greenville is investigating another case.

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