'Deep Dark Secrets' game leads to charges against minister

Benjamin Duer

A sleepover confession has led to allegations of molestation against an Ohio minister.

Peter Pilger, 36, of Warren, Ohio, faces three felony counts of attempted rape and single counts of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition. The charges were filed Tuesday in Stark County Common Pleas Court.

He is accused of sexually abusing a girl during a six-year period ending in April, said Assistant Prosecutor Lori Curd. The girl is now 12.

The girl, who county prosecutors said is related to Pilger, told officers that she was at a friend's house for a sleepover and played a game called "Deep Dark Secrets."

During the game, she told her friends about the alleged abuse, and the friends encouraged her to tell her mother.

Police Maj. David Zink said the child’s mother went to church officials, who told her to contact Children's Protective Services.

At least one incident involved Pilger locking the girl in a walk-in closet and engaging in sexual acts, according to court records. The girl also said Pilger threatened to hurt her and her mother if she ever told anyone, court records said.

Pilger, a former Jackson Township resident, remains in a Stark County Jail cell, where he's been since July 2.

Curd said Pilger is an ordained minister. He is or was a member of the Faith Lutheran Church in Massillon, Ohio, according to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Web site.

Pilger's attorney, Tony Dalayanis, could not be reached for comment. A message seeking comments was left for church officials.

Canton Repository staff writers Fellicia Smith and Shane Hoover contributed to this story. Reach Repository writer Benjamin Duer at (330) 580-8567 or e-mail: