Man accused of assaulting kids at a North Charleston church rejects plea offer

Local News

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The man accused of sexually assaulting young children at a church in North Charleston made an appearance in court Friday morning.

Jacop Hazlett was arrested back in November of 2018 after he was caught on camera sexually abusing a 3-year-old in the bathroom of New Spring Church.

Court documents revealed Hazlett confessed to taking sexually explicit pictures and videos in the childcare area of the North Charleston church.

Police say they found images of at least five victims on his cell phone and even more victims came forward following Hazlett’s initial arrest.

On Friday, Hazlett was given an offer to plead guilty to 15 indictments – one per victim – for 50 years at the Dorchester Courthouse in Saint George.

He rejected that offer.

“It’s one of the hardest processes for a family to go through, to deal with. Having faith, forgiveness but wanting justice against somebody who’s harmed your children,” said victim attorney Josh Slavin.

The judge states Hazlett is facing 23 indictments in Dorchester County, including 12 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 9 counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 2 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

More than 30 people from the victim’s families were present in the courtroom Friday including a victim advocate. The did not testify.

Trial preparations will move forward on December 9th.

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