Lawsuit: SC church finds 14 child sex abuse incidents involving volunteer

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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WSPA) – A lawsuit filed Wednesday claims a church found multiple incidents of sex abuse against young boys by a volunteer.

The lawsuit alleges NewSpring Church in North Charleston found 14 separate incidents of sexual abuse involving Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28, after reviewing security camera footage recorded over a 90-day perios.

A 3-year-old boy’s parents are suing the church and Hazlett, saying the church failed to properly screen and interview Hazlett. According to the lawsuit, Hazlett began volunteering as a chaperone or daycare provider at the church about eight months ago. 

The child’s parents also assert the church did not enforce its policies in monitoring security footage.

The parents say in the lawsuit that security footage recorded Sept. 30 showed Hazlett follow their son into a restroom, take photos of the child’s genitals and sexually abuse him for three minutes. On camera, he can be seen keeping a lookout for approaching adults as well as looking towards the security camera, according to the lawsuit.

The abuse allegedly took place in the restroom for the 3 and 4-year-old child daycare room.

The 3-year-old’s parents allege in the lawsuit that they noticed a change in their child’s behavior, including him screaming and that he didn’t want to go to the church or the daycare.

WCSC reports Hazlett was denied bond Wednesday on charges that he performed oral sex on a child in a church bathroom on Nov. 25.

“We know of 14 victims in 90 days of footage,” Josh Slavin, the attorney for the boy’s family, told the news station. “There could be countless more victims that we just don’t know more about yet.”

According to WCSC, the church says a background check on Hazlett came back clean.

The church is asking any parents who think their child may have been a victim to call police.

Click or tap here to read the full lawsuit

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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