Criminal charges filed vs ex-US diplomat; extradition next target – Sec. Guevarra

Published August 12, 2021, 1:25 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

Criminal charges have been filed before the Pasay City regional trial court (RTC) against the former United States foreign service officer for allegedly committing sexual acts with a 16-year-old Filipina and for possessing child pornographic materials while he was stationed in the Philippines.

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Thursday, Aug. 12, said: “The Office of the City Prosecutor of Pasay City has already filed charges against Dean Edward Cheves for violations of the Child Abuse Law and Child Pornography Law early this month (August) upon complaint of the minor child’s mother.”

But Guevarra lamented that “Mr. Cheves had been sent back to the US as early as March 2021.”

“The Department of Justice and the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) are currently discussing the proper course of action, considering that Mr. Cheves is also facing criminal charges in the US for the same acts under US laws,” he said.

Reports stated that Cheves also has a molestation case in Virginia, USA.

Cheves has already been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia last Aug. 3 for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and possession of pornographic materials.

Guevarra said the case filed before the Pasay City court did not prompt the indictment of Cheves in the US. “The US authorities quietly conducted their own separate investigation here,” he explained.

Reports stated that Cheves was caught at his embassy residence in the Philippines with cellular phone videos he took himself engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old girl Filipina he met online.

Guevarra said the criminal charges await Cheves should the Philippines manage to get him extradited from the US.

The DOJ secretary had directed the Office of the Chief State Counsel (DOJ-OCSC) to look into the possibility of extraditing Cheves.

He said the DOJ is coordinating with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) concerning the case on “relevant legal issues such as diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention and territorial jurisdiction.”

Once these issues have been clarified, Guevarra said the Philippine government will “proceed to coordinate with the US Department of justice under the umbrella of the RP-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT).”