MOORESVILLE, N.C. — A church daycare volunteer accused of sex crimes with more than a dozen children in North Charleston is now being investigated by Davidson Police.
North Charleston Police said 28-year-old Jacob Hazlett was arrested after surveillance video at Newspring Church caught him sexually abusing a three-year-old boy in the bathroom.
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.
"The evidence was there on their video cameras, their security cameras, that are monitored live as it's being recorded. It was under their nose and they just missed it," said attorney Joshua Slavin.
The pastor of Newspring Church used the pulpit to address the situation.
"We have done everything we can over the last couple of days to build, and help authorities build, the strongest case possible so that this gentleman goes to jail forever," he said.
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.
"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.
Many people are asking Hazlett could be allowed around so many children, but multiple churches said Hazlett passed extensive background checks. He has no prior criminal record.
If you have any information about Hazlett, police in North Charleston would like to hear from you. The phone number is 843-740-2521.