Lawsuit: Church worker in toddler sex assault hurt 13 others

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — 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.

The Post and Courier reports on a lawsuit filed Wednesday against 28-year-old Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett and the North Charleston NewSpring Church.

Hazlett supervised the care of 3- to 5-year-olds at the church. His arrest affidavit says a security camera recording showed him abusing a boy in a bathroom on Sunday.

The lawsuit says a subsequent review of 90 days of stored images showed Hazlett through the open bathroom door abusing a total of 14 children.

Attorney Joshua E. Slavin says his lawsuit is meant to expose the church’s lack of oversight.

Communications Director Suzanne Swift has said Hazlett passed a criminal background check and the church acted swiftly on Monday after learning of the allegations.

No additional charges were filed as of Thursday afternoon as the investigation continues.

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