CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The same man accused of sex crimes against multiple children inside a North Charleston church daycare once volunteered with kids at Elevation Church-Lake Norman, but leadership moved him to an administrative volunteer role after "an uneasy feeling," according to a church spokesperson.
Jacop Hazlett is jailed in South Carolina charged with nine counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Police said he is now under investigation in Davidson after a 7-year-old came forward with allegations this week.
Before moving to Charleston, Hazlett lived in the Charlotte area, coached youth football and volunteered at two churches, including Elevation in Lake Norman.
"We are saddened by the recent reports about Mr. Hazlett and our heart goes out to the families involved," Elevation Church said in a statement. "He was a volunteer at our Lake Norman location. He served in our Clubhouse area in late 2014. Clubhouse is a big open room with no private restrooms where our volunteer's children go while their parents serve on Sundays. Our policy has always been that all kids are escorted to restrooms by at least 2 adult female volunteers. He was moved to an administrative volunteer role with no direct contact or oversight of kids in early 2015. He volunteered in our check-in area and then in our church production area until Jan. 2018 when he moved to Charleston. There were no incidents or events at the campus that led to him being moved in 2015, however, the campus leadership did have an uneasy feeling with how he interacted with supervised kids prompting a discussion with him and we made the decision to move him."
Elevation Church said it ran a standard background check on its former volunteer that came back with no red flags.
Cove Church in Mooresville previously confirmed Hazlett volunteered from 2010 to 2014.
Mandy Michalak said the man also coached her son's youth football team too.
"When I first found out... I was almost physically sick," the mother recalled. "I believe he was grooming my son."
A lawsuit claims NewSpring Church's security camera in North Charleston caught Hazlett sexually abusing boys in the 3 to 4-year-old daycare bathroom 14 times in just 90 days.
This week, a police report showed a 7-year-old boy told Davidson Police the same man possibly assaulted him sometime between August and November 2017. Concord Police said they may open an investigation of their own as well.
"We were made aware late yesterday by an agency in another state that an allegation may be coming our way," Maj. Keith Eury said. "We have not been contacted by anyone at this time and do not have any more details about the allegations."