VB Rock Church pastor charged with solicitation of prostitution from a minor arraigned Monday

Virginia Beach

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach pastor accused of trying to solicit sex from a detective who he thought was a minor was in Chesterfield court on Monday for his arraignment.

John Blanchard, who’s since “voluntarily stepped down” as lead pastor at Rock Church in Virginia Beach, was among 17 men arrested in late October during an online sting operation led by the Chesterfield County Police Special Victims Unit.

He faces charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor age 16 or older and using a vehicle to promote prostitution or unlawful sex. He was arraigned in Chesterfield Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Blanchard had been the senior pastor at the church on Kempsville Road since 2013, and was seen preaching just days after his arrest.

After news broke of the arrest, the church said they said they couldn’t comment further, but still released a lengthy statement on Facebook. They said Blanchard had “voluntarily stepped down” as lead pastor and from all other ministerial duties “until this present situation is totally resolved.”

Here’s the full statement:

“Under the guidance of our legal counsel, We can not make a statement or comment concerning the accusations against Rev. John Blanchard at this time. We are all committed to walking in integrity and truth at Rock Church International and will continue to take steps to do so.

Pastor Blanchard has voluntarily stepped back as lead pastor and from all his ministerial duties until this present situation is totally resolved. During this season, Bishop Anne Gimenez will be stepping in as Lead Pastor and sharing the pulpit with Pastor Robin Blanchard.

As followers of Christ, we must remember that redemption, salvation, grace, mercy and healing are all gifts given to the children of God. Although everyone must address their own convictions and consequences, our assignment as believers is not to condemn, but to be agents of God’s love, healing, justice, and reconciliation. (Romans 3:23-“for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”) If we are to walk in eternity with Christ, our position must be one of truth, love, faith, mercy, justice, and forgiveness.

Thank you for your prayers and support. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming and we appreciate all of those who have reached out to be an encouragement to us!

We would ask that the privacy of the Blanchard family be respected as they walk through this difficult journey together.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) -Ephesians 2:4-5Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18.”

Blanchard will next be in court on Nov. 17 for a bond hearing. His trial date is scheduled for January 6, 2022.

This is the full list of suspects arrested in the operation:

  • Carlos Angel-Valesquez, 27, of the 2100 block of Mandalay Drive in Richmond. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution;
  • Jonathan M. Austin, 36, of the 12600 block of Queensgate Road. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • John D. Blanchard, 51, of the 5700 block of Warning Street in Virginia Beach. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Daniel E. Boyd Jr., 38, of the 300 block of N. Arthur Ash Boulevard in Richmond. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Nelson D.R. Dudley, 34, of the 12300 block of La Prade Street. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • James D. Eades, 42, of the 4000 block of Peregrine Road. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Michael C. Hall, 50, of the 9100 block of Hartley Hill Court in Henrico. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Ricardo A. Hinojosa Gonzalez, 43, of the 3900 block of W. Chatham Drive in Richmond. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution;
  • Christopher P. Kendrick, 50, of the 00 block of Christra Place in Louisa. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Franklin E. Martinez-Parada, 39, of the 200 block of Gibbs Road in Grasonville, Md. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Gabriel Medrano Flores, 49, of the 4600 block of Kawneer Drive in Henrico. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Efren Mojica Yepiz, 30, of the 9900 block of Suburban Village Trail. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Joshua P. Morris, 28, of the 4400 block of Branchester Boulevard in Prince George. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Craig T. Moulden, 27, of the 11600 block of Davelayne Road. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Danzel M. Roland, 30, of the 200 block of E. Bank Street in Petersburg. Arrested and charged with obstruction of justice, felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution;
  • Sergio A. Terceros Zambrana, 24, of the 00 block of W. Broad Street in Richmond. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution.
  • Taurean R. Thomas, 26, of the 1600 block of Chestnut Park Lane in Richmond. Arrested and charged with felony solicitation of prostitution and use of a vehicle to promote prostitution.

Stay with WAVY for updates on this case.

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