MANILA, Philippines – A former American diplomat posted at the US embassy in Manila admitted engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors during his stay in the Philippines, the US Department of Justice said.
In a statement released on Monday, October 24, court documents showed that Dean Edward Cheves, 63, met with “multiple minors” over the internet while stationed in the country from 2017 to 2021.
This included paying a minor aged 15 to 16 years old to produce and send to him sexually explicit images from December 2020 to March 2021, and engaging in sex acts twice with a second 16-year-old in February 2021. On the latter case, the US DOJ said Cheves had also used his government-issued cellphone to film himself engaging in such sexual acts on at least once.
“The child sex abuse material that Cheves produced and received of these minors were found on devices seized from Cheves’ embassy residence in the Philippines,” the US DOJ said, adding that the embassy official had known the ages of both minors at the time.
Cheves was earlier charged with one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and one count of possessing child pornography in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
The US DOJ said that the US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Office of Special Investigations investigated the case and had been assisted by its regional security office, as well as the Homeland Security Investigations Attaché’s Office in the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
Cheves is scheduled to be sentenced on January 20, 2023. He faces a maximum prison time of 30 years on each count.
“A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors,” the US DOJ added. – Rappler.com