VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach pastor who authorities said solicited sex from a detective who posed as a minor online had his charges withdrawn.
John Blanchard was set to go to trial on Tuesday in Chesterfield County, but instead, his charges were dropped. WAVY has reached out to the Chesterfield commonwealth’s attorney to find out why the charges were dropped, but has not yet received a response.
Blanchard was arrested in a prostitution sting operation back in October of last year. Authorities say he tried to solicit sex from an undercover detective who was posing as a minor. He was charged with solicitation of prostitution from a minor age 16 or older and using a vehicle to promote prostitution or unlawful sex.
Blanchard “voluntarily” stepped down as a senior pastor at the Rock Church in Virginia Beach after news broke of his arrest. He was seen preaching at the megachurch two days after being arrested. A judge also allowed him to travel out of state for business while the case moved forward.
Blanchard’s case had been continued multiple times before Tuesday.