Four Volunteers at NewSpring Church in South Carolina Were Charged With Sex Crimes Against Children

Amid lawsuits concerning oversight of a daycare volunteer caught sexually abusing children, at least three other men who volunteered at NewSpring Church in South Carolina in the past have also been accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

report published Wednesday by The Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina outlines allegations and charges against three former NewSpring volunteers and one former staff member.

Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, NewSpring has 14 campuses across South Carolina and has a weekly attendance of about 20,000. It’s regarded as one of the fastest growing churches in the United States.

One of the men featured in the report is Jacop Hazlett, who drew headlines last year when he was caught on camera abusing a 3-year-old child inside a NewSpring daycare bathroom. The 28-year-old Hazlett has been accused of abusing at least 14 children in a span of three months up until he was arrested last November.

Hazlett’s actions are at the center of lawsuits facing NewSpring. He faces nine counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The litigation claims that the church failed to adequately supervise and monitor Hazlett’s actions and that they did not do enough to look into Hazlett’s history before allowing him to serve.

Hazlett had previously volunteered at two churches in North Carolina but was asked to leave both places over concerns about his behavior around kids.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith