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SolGen wants ex-US State dep’t. worker tried under PH laws

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Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said the former State Department employee who committed child abuse in the Philippines should also be prosecuted and punished under Philippine laws.

Dean Cheves admitted having engaged in illicit sexual relations with a minor for four years while assigned at the United States Embassy in Manila.

Dean Cheves

“He (Cheves) is accountable not only under US laws but more so under Philippine laws,” Guevarra said.

“Justice will be fully served if Cheves is also tried and punished in our country where he committed those horrible crimes,” he added.

Cheves, 63, pleaded guilty as charged, according to a statement quoting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the US Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and lawyer Jessica Aber of the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Cheves is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors,” the press statement read.

Cheves worked at the US Embassy in Manila from 2017 to 2021 when he interacted with minors online.

From December 2020 to March 2021, Cheves communicated online with a Filipino minor, whom he paid to send him explicit images.

In February 2021, Cheves also had sex on two occasions with a 16-year-old and used his government-issued mobile phone to film at least one of his illicit acts.

The child sex abuse video materials were found on devices seized from Cheves’ residence in the Philippines.

“Cheves knew the ages of both minors at the time he engaged in the conduct,” the statement added.

The US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service Office of Special Investigations probed the case with assistance provided by its Regional Security Office, Homeland Security Investigations Attaché’s Office in the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.

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