202.5

Church volunteer faces 8 additional sex assault charges

In this undated photo released by the Dorchester County Sheriff's Department shows Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28. Hazlett, a South Carolina church volunteer charged with sexually assaulting a 3-year-old boy is now being accused of sexually assaulting at least 13 other children. A lawsuit was filed Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2018 against 28-year-old Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett and the North Charleston NewSpring Church. (Dorchester County Sheriff's Department via AP)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina church volunteer who police say was recorded sexually assaulting a 3-year-old boy in a bathroom now faces eight additional charges.

Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett is now charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and seven counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to court records.

The records did not give details on the new charges.

Hazlett, 28, supervised the care of 3- to 5-year-olds at the North Charleston NewSpring Church starting in March, according to a lawsuit against the church filed by the parents of the 3-year-old boy.

NewSpring Church officials last month reviewed video of the room where Hazlett volunteered and found he had sexually assaulted at least 14 children inside a bathroom, the lawsuit said.

The camera is outside the bathroom, which has a split door. Volunteers close the bottom half when a child is in the restroom, according to the lawsuit.

Hazlett passed a background check and NewSpring is cooperating with investigators, the church said in a statement.

“NewSpring is steadfastly committed to safety and security, and because of this commitment, we have an extensive screening process for all adults before they are allowed to volunteer with children, birth through 12th grade,” said the statement from the church, which added the cameras in each room where children are kept is an added security measure.

Hazlett remains in jail. Court records didn’t indicate if he had an attorney.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



Advertiser Content