No diplomatic immunity for American sex offender for conduct overseas

News Desk

Dean Edward Cheves, 63, is a convicted sex offender following his guilty plea in a US court to a range of illegal activity with children in Manila and online.

Dean Edward Cheves, 63, worked for the US Department of State in the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines from 2017 to 2021.

During that time, he communicated, over the internet, with "multiple" children.

In particular, from December 2020 to March 2021 Cheves maintained communication with a 15, later 16 years old "minor." He paid the child "to produce and send to him sexually explicit images." In February 2021, Cheves contacted a second minor, also aged 16. The Department of Justice's media release tries very hard to avoid any risk that offence might be caused and, in doing so, loses much significant information. In the case of the second minor, for example, it seyes that he "engaged in sex acts..with the minor" then goes on to say that he filmed "himself doing so on at least one of those occasions." So it's not clear if the the child and the diplomat were physically together. Other sources indicate that the minors were girls.

What is clear is that he used his government issued phone and official computers to record, store and view the material.

Cheves pleaded guilty to a range of offences in a court in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, October 2022.

The charges related to "illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place," but it is not clear exactly what charges were laid and under what Act.

Sentencing was scheduled for 20 January but we have been unable to find a court record for this date - and a search of court records did not produce an alternative date. The maximum sentence on each count is 30 years in jail.