DOJ sets arraignment of Spanish man facing sexual abuse charges


THE Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosed on Wednesday that Spanish national Francisco Manuel Sanchez, 36, is set to be arraigned on October 15 before a trial court in Taguig where he is facing 10 counts of child abuse and violation of the Anti-Child Pornography Act filed by the same victim in the case of former US diplomat Dean Edward Cheves.

DOJ Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said Sanchez’s camp has also filed a motion seeking the dismissal of the complaint on the basis of the affidavit of desistance executed by the complainant.

“The prosecution will oppose the said motion,” Villar said.

While Sanchez managed to post bail, Villar said, the accused has been barred from leaving the country owing to the hold departure order (HDO) issued by the court.

It can be recalled that Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 Judge Byron San Pedro issued an arrest warrant last August 31 against Sanchez, who also uses the name Franco Sanchez, for violation of Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) and RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act).

The arrest warrant was issued based on the complaint of the alleged victim, a 16-year-old minor who accused Sanchez of sexually abusing her and recording on video their sexual acts.

The minor is also the complainant in a similar case filed against the 61-year-old Cheves before the Pasay RTC.

The victim reportedly met Cheves online when she was just around 12 or 13 years old. They went to a motel in Pasay City where they stayed for two hours.

Without the victim’s knowledge, Cheves allegedly recorded their sexual intercourse.  Pasay City RTC Branch 109 Judge Christian Castañeda has also issued a warrant of arrest against Cheves, who is now in the US facing charges before a District Court in Virginia for his conduct in the Philippines.

Judge Castañeda recommended a P200,000 bail for Cheves.

The DOJ is mulling over the possibility of seeking Cheves’s  extradition to the country to put him on trial for the criminal offenses.

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