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Hearing postponed for Virginia Beach pastor facing prostitution charges

John Blanchard is one of 17 men arrested by Chesterfield County police after undercover detectives posing as minors on social media say the men arranged to meet.

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — John Blanchard, the Virginia Beach pastor facing prostitution charges, walked out of Chesterfield County court Tuesday morning after a judge delayed the hearing again.

Chesterfield County police said Blanchard was one of 17 people whom officers arrested as part of a two-day operation.

Investigators said they communicated with Blanchard and the others on social media as part of the operation. All 17 arranged to meet with someone whom they thought was underage to have sex. When Blanchard and the others showed up, officers arrested them.

The Rock Church pastor faces multiple charges, including felony solicitation of prostitution with underage people.

After a few court appearances where the prosecutor and Brooks went back and forth on what evidence can be used in the court case, the two attorneys told the judge they needed time to come up with a resolution. 

The judge granted the attorneys about two months to sort out how they want the case to move forward. If a judge denies the agreement between the attorneys, the prosecutor will bring in witnesses to testify in the next court hearing.

Blanchard can still choose to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. If he chooses to waive it, it would then go straight to a grand jury, which would determine if the charges against him still stand based on evidence.

In the meantime, Blanchard is currently out on bond and is allowed to travel outside of Virginia for his company called Zayin Solutions, or "Tech Direct," which sells LED screens to churches. Court documents show that Blanchard is still making $30,000 a month through his company.

John Blanchard and his attorney chose not to speak with 13News Now about the case as they walked out of the courtroom. He is due back in court on June 23.

Leaders with Rock Church in Virginia Beach posted on social media last November, saying Blanchard temporarily stepped back from his role with the church until the investigation is complete. 

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