DOJ has 2 options to assure prosecution of ex-US diplomat for child sexual abuse

Published September 24, 2021, 11:44 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has two options to assure the prosecution of former United States Foreign Service Officer Dean Edward Cheves who has been charged criminally in the Philippines and in the US with sexual abuse of a 16-year-old Filipina.

DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar on Friday, Sept. 24, said:

“We are still considering two options at the moment: first, his extradition which is still being studied by the DOJ together with the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), and second, providing assistance to the US under the PH-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters in connection with the criminal cases filed against Cheves in the US.”

Undersecretary Villar said “these options are not mutually exclusive and can be pursued at the same time.”

She pointed out that “coordination with the US Government is done through the DFA at the moment.”

Cheves, who was posted as director at the US Embassy in Manila from Sept. 2020 up to Feb. 2021, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place and possession child pornography.

In the Philippines, Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Christian P. Castaneda issued last Aug. 26 an arrest order against Cheves after finding probable cause on charges of violations of Republic Act No. 7610, the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, and RA 9775, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

The criminal cases against Cheves were filed by the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office in a resolution issued last Aug. 3 on complaints filed by the minor’s mother.

The mother was assisted by the Philippine National Police-Women and Children and Protection Center (PNP-WCPC).

In its resolution, the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office said:

“The Anti Cybercrime group of the Philippine National Police submitted their examination on the contents of the Samsung cellular phone with SIM and it shows the sexual and lewd conversation between the minor child and Dean Edward Cheves along with screen shots of the video recording of the sexual intercourse by the respondent and the minor child.”

In her affidavit, the girl said that she and Cheves met online when she was only 12 to 13 years old.

She said she met Cheves personally last Feb. 12 in Dasmarinas Village in Makati City where she was asked to do oral sex.

She also said they met again last Feb. 22 and went to a motel in Pasay City where Cheves took videos of their sexual activity.

Cheves left the Philippines last March.