Police: Additional charges filed on North Charleston church volunteer for assaulting kids


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) –  The North Charleston Police Department filed additional charges on the suspect, Jacop Hazlett.

He has been served with  5 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor First Degree stemming from the New Spring Church incident, according to Major Scott Perry with the North Charleston Police Department.

Hazlett will have a bond hearing tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Perry added.

Police say 28-year-old Jacop Hazlett was caught on camera sexually abusing a three-year-old boy where he served as a volunteer at Newspring Church in North Charleston.

A lawsuit against the church and Hazlett accused him of sexually abusing 14 children in the last 90 days. The acts were all reportedly caught on church surveillance video.

Eight more charges were filed against him on Monday.

On Friday night, Mandy Michalak came forward and told NBC Charlotte of Hazlett’s history in the Charlotte area.

“He was our (Lake Norman Giants) football coach, and he also attended the church that we had started attending,” said Michalak.

The Cove Church in Mooresville confirmed Hazlett lived in the area — attending and volunteering at the church.

“Jake Hazlett previously attended and served at The Cove Church during portions of 2010-2014. We are saddened and heartbroken hearing this news. We ask that people join us in praying for the children and families involved and for God’s peace to cover them,” said Brooklyn Madding, a Cove Church spokesperson.

Michalak is still coming to terms with the allegations.

“When I first found out yesterday (Thursday), I was almost physically sick,” she said. “I believe he was grooming my son.”

Michalak said Hazlett passed an extensive background check.

“We’re still having those hard conversations right now,” Michalak said of her young son. “We are backtracking and double checking to see if he can remember anything, if there’s anything that seems off.”

Michalak said Hazlett lived in the area until early 2018 when he moved to the Charleston area.

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