U.S. Marine Guilty In Slaying Of Transgender Woman In Philippines

Photo: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images.
Supporters of Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman killed by a U.S. Marine, demonstrate outside a court in February 2015.
The 2014 slaying of Jennifer Laude, a transgender woman in the Philippines, sparked major protests in her home country and beyond.

Now, more than a year after her death, the U.S. Marine accused of killing the 26-year-old has been found guilty by a court in the Philippines, according to The Associated Press.

Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of homicide and sentenced to six to 12 years in prison. Prosecutors say he strangled Laude during a meeting in a hotel after discovering that she was transgender.

Pemberton admitted to choking Laude during a fight in his testimony, but maintained that she was alive when he left her, the AP reported. Laude's mother told the AP that while she wanted to see Pemberton convicted of murder, a more serious charge than homicide, she is glad to see that he will go to jail.

Activists say Laude's killing is a sad reminder of the challenges and dangers faced by trans men and women in the Philippines. While long celebrated in pop culture and the country's vibrant pageant scene, transgender people lack legal protections in the Philippines and report facing discrimination and even violence. The Philippines had one of the highest rates of murders of transgender people in all of Asia from 2008 to 2014, according to the international Trans Murder Monitoring project.

Violence against the transgender community remains a major problem worldwide. At least 79 people have died from anti-trans violence so far this year, according to a list maintained by International Transgender Day of Remembrance organizers. The Trans Murder Monitoring Project has documented more than 1,700 deaths over seven years.
Advertisement

More from Global News

A ruling last month by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that Iranian women could not ride bicycles because it "attracts the attention of men and exposes the ...
“It’s a special school for me because I was a student there. But I don’t think I can see a way back there now,” she said
For many refugees, the struggle to survive doesn't end after fleeing war-torn Syria. With the help of 17-year-old Khaldeya, we're taking you straight to ...
I want to continue to support female activists, and hope that by starting with a small, singular task like refusing straws, I can encourage each one of you...
Here's your daily cry: A little boy from New York is inviting a Syrian child his age to come and live with him in safety. “We will give him a family, and ...
Natasha Maimba, 14, and Minahil Sarfraz, 15, do a lot of the same things any teen girls do. Maimba plays the guitar. Sarfraz likes to mug for the camera...
Emma Watson addressed the U.N. General Assembly again Tuesday, delivering a powerful speech calling for the reform of campus sexual assault policies. ...
(Paid Content) 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record. How many thousands of studies will have to be published before everyone is on board ...
Michelle Obama appeared at one of Broadway's landmark theaters Monday, taking the stage along with some of the industry's biggest stars. No, FLOTUS isn...
International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her client Nadia Murad are teaming up to sue ISIS. Murad, a Yazidi woman who says she prayed for death ...
Kim Kardashian blasted deniers of the Armenian genocide in a full-page ad in Saturday's New York Times. Kardashian has been a passionate advocate for ...
France just found a new way to reduce pollution. The Associated Press reports that with a controversial new measure, France just became the first ...
One boy's powerful move to promote tolerance and love is going viral. On Saturday, thousands of people marched throughout Mexico to protest President ...
The United Nations has come under fire, as allegations of peacekeepers sexually abusing women and children in conflict zones have continued to surface ...