In 2015, Joel Lacopelli was falsely accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year old while he cared for the child at Community Bible Church in Port Royal, South Carolina. He was arrested at his home and charged for sexually assaulting a minor under 11 years of age. Charges were dropped on August 20, 2015 for lack of probable cause. His DNA was conclusively excluded from being on the child.
Joel filed a lawsuit for the mishandling of the case. After a four year legal battle, he was paid $500,000.