A 63-year-old former U.S. State Department employee on Monday admitted to engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, namely the Philippines, where he was working at the U.S. Embassy.
Dean Edward Cheves, a former U.S. diplomat, knowingly and deliberately preyed upon young girls over the internet, and even used his government-issued cell phone to document evidence of his crimes.
The U.S. Department of Justice said that Cheves was working as a government employee from 2017 to 2021. During that time, he admittedly paid one girl to send sexually explicit images and sexually abused a second girl. In both instances, he knew the victims were minors, DOJ said.
While in the Philippines, the defendant stayed in housing leased by the United States that was used by personnel, such as the defendant, assigned to the United States embassy. According to the statement of facts, a victim identified only as Minor 2 was 15 when she first encountered Cheves online.
“In January 2021, while chatting in the messaging application, the defendant agreed to purchase ‘private’ pictures from Minor 2 [..] some of which show Minor 2 engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” court documents said. On February 5, 2021, while the defendant wasat his embassy-provided residence, the defendant asked Minor 2 via the aforementioned messaging application to make and send videos specifically for him (as opposed to sending videos that already exist), and specifically requested a video of the victim masturbating.”
When the victim said no, Cheves said she “missing out” and urged her to “try it.” The defendant said “lol no thanks” when the victim proposed sending a video that didn’t include masturbation, documents said. Cheves reiterated his request.
“During this conversation, Minor 2 noted that she would be turning 16 soon, which the defendant acknowledged,” the statement of facts continued. “Later that day Minor 2 sent a series of pictures and videos, many of which constituted sexually explicit images.”
The defendant’s misconduct only escalated from here. In March 2021, Cheves asked the victim to “shave her pubic area for the next pictures” and “directed” her to pose for nude images.
After receiving the images, Cheves said, “can’t (sic) wait for [the victim] to grow up,” documents continued.
The statement of facts said that Cheves met a second 16-year-old girl online in January 2021. He was remarkably candid about what he did for a living and how that meant being “extra careful” was necessary.
“The defendant and Minor 1 engaged in chat conversations, during which the defendant told Minor 1 that he worked for the U.S. Embassy and shared his exact job title, telling Minor 1 that he needed to be ‘extra careful’ because ‘[t]his kind of thing causes international incidents,'” the statement of facts said.
Prosecutors said Cheves told the minor she was “[o]lder than others [has has] been chatting with” and that he had “previously had sex with a 14-year-old in Brazil, had taken her to a ‘sex motel’ and had taken pictures of a sexual encounter with her.”
Court documents said that the defendant went on to record “genital-genital sex” abuse on his government-issued iPhone.
“The defendant later sent videos of these sex acts to Minor 1 on the internet-based messaging platform, noting that he had ‘fixed the exposure,’ that ‘the slo mo one is fun,’ and that the videos would look good posted on a pornography site. The defendant also emailed one of the videos to an email address associated with Minor 1.”
Cheves’ sentencing was set in the Eastern District of Virginia, where he was arrested in the case after returning to the U.S. in 2021. That proceeding is expected to take place on Jan. 20, 2023. Prosecutors said he faces up to 30 years behind bars for each count.
Read the plea agreement and statement of facts.
[Alexandria Sheriff’s Office]
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