NewSpring Church in South Carolina is fighting back against two lawsuits alleging that lack of church oversight enabled the sexual assaults of at least 14 children at the hands of a former church day care volunteer.
The multicampus megachurch recently issued a public response to a lawsuit filed against it surrounding the arrest of 28-year-old Jacob Hazlett, who had volunteered at the day care of its campus in Charleston for eight months.
Hazlett was caught on camera inappropriately touching a 3-year-old child and was arrested last November.
He has since been charged with 14 counts of first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Church security footage that goes back as far as 90 days showed instances of Hazlett assaulting children in the day care bathroom.
“Such criminal act was not intended or directed by [NewSpring] and could not be foreseen by [NewSpring],” a statement from NewSpring provided to WCIV states. “NewSpring performed a screening process that included a criminal background check that showed no prior records.”
Hazlett reportedly admitted to perpetrating the assaults to investigators.
A lawsuit filed by the parent of the 3-year-old abused by Hazlett was submitted late last year and accused the volunteer of performing oral sex on the child.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith