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VIRGINIA: Pulaski County preacher facing felony sex charges

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The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says this week 73-year-old pastor J.P. Hale was arrested and charged with one count of indecent liberties with a child.

Reverend Hale of the New Bern Church of Jesus, usually stands behind a pulpit, but this week he was standing in front of a police camera as they snapped mug shots.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office says this week the 73-year-old pastor was arrested and charged with one count of indecent liberties with a child.  It’s a class six felony.

Thursday afternoon we showed up at Hale’s house to talk to the accused religious leader, but he had been advised by his attorney not to talk.

The Pulaski County Sheriff won’t give any details on the alleged crime or when it happened.

Come this Sunday no one will be walking through the church doors, a sign has been posted at the Newbern church of Jesus saying closed until further notice.

When I asked Hale which church he ministered at he wouldn’t answer, he just said he had been preaching for 41 years.

The Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Mike Fleenor, isn’t prosecuting this case.

He released this statement saying “There was a conflict of interest for the Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney office to prosecute the cases against Reverend John P. Hale.

On Monday the Circuit Court appointed the Giles County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office to handle the case.

Therefore we have no further comment on the matter,“ Fleenor said.