8 new child sex charges for North Charleston NewSpring Church volunteer

Jacop Hazlett (Dorchester County Detention Center).jpg
Jacop Hazlett (Dorchester County Detention Center)

Police have filed eight additional child sexual abuse charges against a former church volunteer accused of molesting boys he supervised at NewSpring Church in North Charleston.

Jacop Hazlett, 28, is 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, court records show.

The eight additional charges were filed Friday, Nov. 30. Hazlett first was charged only with one count of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor following his arrest Nov. 27.

Authorities originally arrested Hazlett over accusations he sexually abused a 3-year-old boy at NewSpring in North Charleston on Nov. 25. Surveillance video showed Hazlett molesting the boy, according to law enforcement.

Police now say video surveillance they've reviewed shows Hazlett fondling the genitals of several young children, not only the one.

Affidavits provided by the North Charleston Police Department show Hazlett admitted to detectives "inappropriately touching numerous children" while volunteering at NewSpring,

Police say Hazlett told them he sometimes also videoed his actions and took photos of the children. Hazlett said he used the images for personal gratification, authorities say.

Hazlett admitted to detectives he knew his actions were wrong, but also said he found young boys sexually attractive, according to police affidavits.

A civil lawsuit filed Nov. 28 in Dorchester County says surveillance video showed Hazlett sexually assaulting young boys on 14 separate occasions over a 90 day period, which is the length of time a NewSpring spokesperson said the church stores surveillance video.

Hazlett had volunteered at the church for nearly eight months at the time the alleged abuse was discovered, according to a timeline provided by NewSpring. Hazlett passed a criminal background check before being cleared to volunteer, the church said.

According to the lawsuit, Hazlett often looked back at surveillance cameras he knew were in the room while molesting the children, and would frequently look over his shoulder to make sure others weren't coming who might see what he was doing.

Hazlett's next court appearance will be before a circuit judge, Jan. 14, 2019.