DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A jury was selected on Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting multiple young boys inside a North Charleston church.
Jacop Hazlett’s trial will start Wednesday morning. The trial concerns just six of the 23 charges against him including first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
The trial also only pertains to four of the 15 alleged victims.
It was a long day in court on Tuesday with the jury being selected first.
Pre-trial motions were then made where evidence was presented, without the jury’s presence, to determine which items they will be shown during the trial.
One item prosecutors put forth was a video interview of Hazlett conducted by a police investigator.
In the video, Hazlett can be heard telling the investigator that he touched the private parts of children and took pictures of them as well.
Hazlett says he did this while he was a volunteer at the the Newspring Church.
During this portion of the court hearing, Hazlett was seen crying while watching the interrogation videos. The jury may or may not hear the whole interview.
At least four lawsuits have been filed against NewSpring Church where Hazlett volunteered since news broke that he had been accused of molesting underage youth at the church. Lawsuits claim Hazlett was working with the KidSpring children ministry and daycare program at the time of the incident.
Hazlett gave an interview to police on Nov. 27, 2018, telling detectives that he inappropriately touched, and took video as well as photos of numerous children at the church, according to the affidavit. Hazlett also told police he was sexually attracted to young males and knew his actions were wrong, the affidavit stated.
Hazlett’s initial arrest stemmed from a charge which stated that Hazlett escorted a 3-year-old boy into a bathroom at the NewSpring Church and performed a sex act on him.
A lawsuit filed in late November 2018 claimed the church found 14 separate incidents of sexual abuse involving Hazlett and boys in a church daycare bathroom when it reviewed security camera footage from the previous 90 days.