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Ex-US diplomat pleads guilty to child sexual exploitation

Pia Lee Brago - The Philippine Star
Ex-US diplomat pleads guilty to child sexual exploitation
In a statement on Monday, the US Justice Department said court documents showed that Dean Edward Cheves, 63, met with several minors over the internet when he was stationed in Manila from 2017 to 2021.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — A former American diplomat posted at the US embassy in Manila has pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors during his stay in the Philippines, according to the US Department of Justice.

In a statement on Monday, the US Justice Department said court documents showed that Dean Edward Cheves, 63, met with several minors over the internet when he was stationed in Manila from 2017 to 2021.

Records revealed that from December 2020 to March 2021, Cheves communicated online with a Filipina aged 15 to 16 at the time, whom he paid in exchange for sending her sexually explicit images to him.

In February last year, Cheves engaged in sexual acts on two separate occasions with a 16-year-old girl whom he met online, using his government-issued cell phone.

“The child sex abuse material that Cheves produced and received from these minors were found on devices seized from his embassy residence in the Philippines,” the US justice department said. “He knew the ages of both minors at the time he engaged in the conduct.”

Cheves is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2023. He is facing a penalty of up to 30 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the US guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and US lawyer Jessica Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.

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US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

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