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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 4, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 49
U.S. marine guilty in murder of Philippines Trans woman
Section One
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U.S. marine guilty in murder of Philippines Trans woman

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A U.S. marine was found guilty of killing a Transgender woman by a Philippine court on December 1.

Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.

Jennifer Laude was found naked and strangled to death with her head in a toilet in an Olongapo, Philippines, hotel room shortly after midnight on October 12, 2014, police said.

Witnesses told police that Pemberton was with Laude at a local disco before the two checked into a hotel on the night of October 11, according to documents quoted by CNN. Pemberton was also identified as Laude's companion by a bellboy at the hotel.

Pemberton told police that he had choked Laude, but then tried to revive her. He said he had been unaware she was Transgender and was overcome with 'Trans panic' when he discovered her penis, according to police.

Pemberton was initially held by the U.S. Navy aboard a ship in Subic Bay port, until U.S. officials turned him over to their Filipino counterparts for trial. U.S. officials also agreed that if convicted Pemberton would be sent to a Filipino jail rather than an American one.

In 2006 another U.S. marine was convicted of raping a Filipina, but was held in U.S. custody and was eventually released and allowed to return to the United States after a Philippine appeals court reversed his conviction.

Only months before Laude's murder, the U.S. and Filipino governments signed a new defense agreement allowing for an expanded American military presence in the island country. The agreement was unpopular with many Filipinos, and the sensational circumstances of the Laude killing led to anti-U.S. demonstrations in the Philippines.

Although Pemberton's conviction satisfied Filipino authorities, Laude's mother, Marilou Laude, was unhappy with the sentence.

'I'm not contented with 6-12 years ... but what's important is he will be sent to jail,' she told CNN Philippines.

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Pride Foundation has invested over $7.5 million to support LGBTQ people in 2015

Announces 66 Northwest organizations receiving community grants

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12th Annual Stronger Together World AIDS Day Breakfast
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Elton John AIDS Foundation commemorates World AIDS Day
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Plans underway to expel Trans students

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U.S. marine guilty in murder of Philippines Trans woman
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The man behind the plan: Cincinnati's first openly Gay councilmember Chris Seelbach sees bright future for his city
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amfAR announces new Institute for HIV Cure Research
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