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Volunteer sexually assaulted toddler boy in church bathroom, police say

A South Carolina man is accused of performing oral sex on a 3-year-old boy inside a church on Sunday.

According to WCSC, Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 28, a volunteer at Newspring Church, assaulted the child as he used the restroom and pulled his pants back up afterward. Investigators said the incident occurred inside the bathroom and a surveillance camera angled outside the bathroom recorded the illicit act.

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office said Hazlett acted as a church chaperone for 3- to 5-year-old children. Deputies claimed Hazlett was recorded escorting the child from a classroom to the bathroom before cleaning up the toddler and violating him.

Speaking with WCIV, Newspring Church spokesperson Suzanne Swift said staff members learned of the assault Monday and responded by immediately removing Hazlett from the property and calling police. Church officials also confirmed the incident through surveillance footage, Swift said.

The spokesperson said a camera managed to record the assault because the bathroom stall was left open. She explained that cameras are present in all their children’s rooms as a security measure.

Swift also told the news station that Hazlett started working at the church in March and had passed criminal and sex offender background checks.

Held without bond, Hazlett was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Authorities are investigating whether there are additional victims.

 

[Featured image: Jacop Hazlett/Dorchester County Detention Center]