CHARLESTON, S.C. — A former volunteer childcare worker at NewSpring Church in South Carolina, a megachurch that has multiple campuses, including in Anderson, Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, faces additional child sex abuse charges after initially being arrested and charged last November.
According to reports, Jacop Hazlett was taken into custody last fall after being accused of molesting a three-year-old boy while escorting him to the restroom at NewSpring Church’s North Charleston location. Children are placed in childcare while Sunday services are underway.
Baptist News Global reports that after staff learned of the alleged incident, they reviewed security footage of the childcare area and discovered numerous incidents where Hazlett had molested boys while taking them to the restroom. As the church only retained videos for 90 days, it is believed that there were possibly additional victims.
Hazlett was initially charged with one count of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, but 13 more charges were leveled against him within days.
On August 1, a Dorchester County Grand Jury indicted Hazlett on 10 additional charges, bringing the total number of counts up to 24.
According to Baptist News Global, Hazlett had been asked in 2002 to leave Cove Church in North Carolina due to concerns about his behavior around children, and staff at Elevation Church had similar concerns about him, disallowing him from working with youth.
Several lawsuits have been filed against NewSpring Church, alleging that it failed to properly vet Hazlett and that leadership failed to
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