Spaniard charged with ‘sexually abusing’ Filipina minor set for arraignment Oct. 29

Published October 28, 2021, 2:21 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Trial Court

A Spaniard is set for arraignment on Friday, Oct. 29, before the Taguig City regional trial court (RTC) on charges of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old Filipina and possession of pornographic materials.

Set for arraignment, the reading of the charges for an accused to enter his plea of “guilty” or “not guilty,” is Francisco Manuel Sanchez de Oria, also known as Franco Sanchez.

Sanchez was charged with 10 counts of violations of Republic Act No. 7610, the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act, and one count of violation of RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act.

He had filed before the RTC a motion to dismiss the charges but Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors opposed it. The RTC issued an arrest order against him last Aug. 31.

His arraignment was originally set last Oct. 15 but it was postponed “because the detention facility had connectivity problems and they could not connect to the online hearing.” He is currently detained at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) which is conducting deportation proceedings against him.

The criminal charge sheet against Sanchez stated that he “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously have sexual intercourse” in Taguig City with the victim who was “a minor, fifteen (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.”

The complaints against him were filed by the family of the 16-year-old girl, a student of an exclusive school in Metro Manila.

The charges against Sanchez had also been filed by the same complainant against former United States foreign service officer Dean Edward Cheves before the Pasay City RTC which had issued an arrest order against him (Cheves).

But Cheves is in the US where he was 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 pornography.

He was a director of the US Embassy in Manila from September 2020 until February 2021.