A former US Foreign Service officer who used his government-issued cell phone to film his sex act with a minor in the Philippines pleaded guilty to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country and faces 30 years in prison.
Dean Cheves, a 63-year-old man who worked at the U.S Embassy in the Philippines, was found to prey on minors via the internet. Cheves solicited explicit images from one minor and engaged in sex acts with another minor, which he recorded using his government-issued cell phone.
In May 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a global initiative to fight the growing epidemic of child sexual abuse and exploitation like the case of Cheves, who knew that both girls were minors but still solicited for explicit images of one and engaged in illicit sex acts with the other on at least two occasions.
Cheves engaged in an online communication with a 15 to 16-year-old Filipina minor from December 2020 to March 2021, paying the minor to create and send him sexually explicit pictures of herself.
Also in February 2021, Cheves had sexual acts on two different occasions with a second 16-year-old Filipina child he met online, filming at least one of those occasions with his government-issued cell phone, according to the statement of fact.
Dean Cheves, a US ex-foreign officer who documented his illicit sexual act with his government-issued cell phone
Devices confiscated from Cheves’s embassy home in the Philippines contained the child sex abuse material he made and received from these minors. According to court documents, at the time of the behavior, Cheves was aware of the ages of the two minors.
Cheves also worked in Brazil, where he had sexual conduct with a 14-year-old girl. One of his confiscated phones contained contact information for a number of minors, including their dates of birth and account information for electronic payments, according to an FBI affidavit.
Cheves will be sentenced on January 20, 2023, and the maximum sentence for each count is 30 years in jail.