A former U.S. Department of State employee was sentenced today to 15 years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.
According to court documents, Dean Edward Cheves, 63, served at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines from 2017 to 2021. From December 2020 to March 2021, Cheves used a messaging application installed on his cell phone to chat with a 15- to 16-year-old Philippine minor, whom he paid to create and send to him sexually explicit images of the minor, said a Department of Justice report.
Additionally, in February 2021, Cheves engaged in sex acts on two separate occasions with another 16-year-old Philippine minor, whom he met online. Cheves used his government-issued cell phone to film the sex acts on at least one of those occasions. The child sex abuse material that Cheves produced was found on the phone after it was seized from Cheves’ embassy residence in the Philippines. Cheves knew the ages of both minors at the time he engaged in the conduct.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement yesterday.
The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Office of Special Investigations investigated the case with valuable assistance provided by the DSS Regional Security Office, Homeland Security Investigations Attaché’s Office in the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.
Trial Attorney Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren Pomerantz Halper and Zoe Bedell for the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.