Former Church Volunteer Facing Multiple Child Sex Related Charges
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – WCCB has confirmed that a former church volunteer charged with sex crimes involving children in North Charleston, once volunteered at the Elevation Church campus in Lake Norman.
Jacob Hazlett, 28, faces at least nine charges in North Charleston.
North Charleston Police arrested Hazlett last month. He’s accused of molesting at least 14 young children at NewSpring Church. Hazlett is also named in a civil lawsuit that claims he recorded himself sexually assaulting a three-year-old boy in a church bathroom.
Hazlett is also under investigation by the Davidson Police Department. According to a police report, on Monday, a seven-year-old boy told staff at Davidson Elementary School that Hazlett assaulted him off campus. That assault reportedly happened between September and November of last year.
Elevation Church tells WCCB it received no allegations involving Hazlett while he volunteered at its Lake Norman campus from 2014 to 2018.
An Elevation Church representative tells WCCB Charlotte that church leaders did decide to move Hazlett from the kids’ “Clubhouse” program, to an administrative volunteer role, with no direct contact or oversight of kids in early 2015. The representative says there were “no incidents or events at the campus that led to him being moved,” however, “campus leadership did have an uneasy feeling with how he interacted with supervised kids.”
The “Clubhouse” is described as a “big open room with no private restrooms.” Elevation Church has a policy that all children are escorted to restrooms by at least two, adult, female volunteers. The Elevation Church representative also tells WCCB that Hazlett was put through the church’s “standard background check, which came back with no red flags.”
Investigators say there may be more victims that haven’t come forward yet. So far, no charges have been filed against Hazlett in the Charlotte area.