Arraignment of Spanish man charged with child abuse, child pornography set

Arraignment of Spanish man charged with child abuse, child pornography set
This photo shows the Department of Justice office in Padre Faura, Manila.
Philstar.com / File photo

MANILA, Philippines — A Spanish man accused of sexually abusing and taking videos of his acts with a 15-year-old Filipino girl, the same victim in the case against a former US diplomat, is set to be arraigned before a Taguig court on Friday.

Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said Franco Sanchez is facing ten counts of child abuse charges and a case of alleged violation of anti-child pornography law for sexual abuse of a 15-year-old Filipino girl before a local court.

The Department of Justice said state prosecutors charged Sanchez for violation of Section 5(b) of Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

“[W]ith lewd designs and with intent to gratify his sexual desire and exercising undue influence and employment of moral compulsion, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse with… a minor, 15 years old at the time of the commission of the offense, or a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse, to the damage and prejudice of said victim,” state prosecutors charged Sanchez for ten counts, before the Taguig court.

Sanchez also faces a separate case of violation of Section 4(a) of RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

State prosecutors recommended P200,000 as bail for each charge. With 11 charges against Sanchez, bail is set at P2.2 million, Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said.

The DOJ earlier said that Sanchez and the minor victim met on different dates from December 2020 to February 2021. The two met online and he would fetch her and bring her to his residence in Taguig City where they allegedly used illegal drugs and had sexual intercourse.

In a separate incident, Sanchez allegedly filmed the victim’s sexual act with him and a certain “Gill.”

Detention at BI

Aglipay-Villar meanwhile clarified that Sanchez remains under detention in a government facility.

“It was confirmed tonight (October 13) by the City Prosecutor of Taguig that Franco Sanchez is being detained at the Bureau of Immigration Detention Center for two reasons: 1) he did not post bail in violation of RA 7610 and RA 9775 case 2) the pendency of deportation proceedings,” she told reporters.

“There is a pending Motion to Dismiss filed by the accused on the basis of an affidavit of desistance. The prosecution will oppose the said motion,” Aglipay-Villar added.

The victim in Sanchez’s case is also the same girl who was sexually abused by former US diplomat Dean Edward Cheves, who was indicted by a Virginia court for sexual acts with a minor and who faces a separate child abuse and child pornography charges before a Pasay court. — Kristine Joy Patag

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