U.S. Marine jailed in Philippines for killing transgender woman

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Transgender woman Jennifer Laude killed by Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton- Philippines
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U.S. Marine jailed in Philippines for killing transgender woman
Protesters hang a rainbow banner from the foot bridge near the US embassy during a protest over the killing on October 11, 2014 of a Filipino transgender woman named Jennifer Laude near the former US Subic naval base northwest of Manila on December 1, 2014 . American marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is being held as the main suspect in the murder which the protesters have labelled as a 'hate crime' against LGBT (Lesbians Gays Bisexual and Transgender) Filipinos. AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTO (Photo credit should read JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images)
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/24: Students hold a placard saying 'Justice for Jennifer Laude' during a protest held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Friday. Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude was allegedy murdered by US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. (Photo by Jansen Joel C. Romero/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/24: A transgender Filipino walks across the lit candles formed 'Justice' during a protest held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Friday. Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude was allegedy murdered by US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. (Photo by Jansen Joel C. Romero/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Protesters stands next to a portrait of murdered transgender woman Jennifer Laude during a rally inside the campus of the state university in Manila on October 24, 2014, to coincide with her burial. A US Marine accused of murdering a transgender woman was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 22, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be taken off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/24: Students lines up lit candles during a protest held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Friday. Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude was allegedy murdered by US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. (Photo by Jansen Joel C. Romero/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Protesters hold candles during a vigil inside the campus of the state university in Manila on October 24, 2014, to coincide with the burial of murdered transgender woman, Jennifer Laude. A US Marine accused of murdering a transgender woman was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 22, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be taken off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/24: A student holds a lit candle during a protest held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Friday. Jeffrey 'Jennifer' Laude was allegedy murdered by US marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. (Photo by Jansen Joel C. Romero/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Activists lay a mock coffin of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' and light candles during a protest near the US embassy in Manila on October 24, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 24, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Activists carry a mock coffin of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' during a protest near the US embassy in Manila on October 24, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 24, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Activists carry a mock coffin of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' during a protest near the US embassy in Manila on October 24, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 24, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Marilou Laude (top L), sister of murdered Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' is helped by Jennifer Laude's boyfriend German Marc Susselbeck (in black), as she climbs the gate of the facility where Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) headquarters in Manila on October 22, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters Wednesday, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PASAY, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/22: Different groups of activist and protesters conduct a protest rally in front of Senate Office in Pasay City, to help Laude's family and bring justice for the crime committed by Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton an American Soldier (USMC) which is responsible for Jennifer Laude's killing. The protesters also asked for the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) permanently ban and abolish from the country. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/14: Protesters burn a mock US flag as they call for justice for the murdered transgender in Olongapo City, allegedly by a US serviceman. Protesters lead by the League of the Filipino Students trooped to the US embassy in Manila to ask for the arrest of a US serviceman, identified as Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, for allegedly killing transgender Jennifer Laude. (Photo by J Gerard Seguia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/15: The group of activist Gabriela held a protest in front of Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City Philippines, to bring justice for the killing of a Filipino transgender Jeffry or alias Jennifer Laude by an identified U.S. Marines in Olongapo City province in the country. Identified the U.S.Troops as Pfc. Joseph Scoth Pemberton, the rallyist asked from DFA to acquire the custody of the said U.S. Soldier from the country until proven guilty of the suspect. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
German Marc Susselbeck (2nd L), boyfriend of murdered Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' and Jennifer's sister Marilou (L) confront soldiers after climbing the gate of the facility where Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) headquarters in Manila on October 22, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters on October 22, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off a US warship. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/15: The group of activist Gabriela held a protest in front of Dept. of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City Philippines, to bring justice for the killing of a Filipino transgender Jeffry or alias Jennifer Laude by an identified U.S. Marines in Olongapo City province in the country. Identified the U.S.Troops as Pfc. Joseph Scoth Pemberton, the rallyist asked from DFA to acquire the custody of the said U.S. Soldier from the country until proven guilty of the suspect. (Photo by Wilfredo Clamor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
METRO MANILA, PHILIPPINES - 2014/10/14: Protesters call for justice as they troop to the US embassy in Roxas Boulevard tuesday afternoon. Protesters lead by the League of the Filipino Students trooped to the US embassy in Manila to ask for the arrest of a US serviceman, identified as Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, for allegedly killing transgender Jennifer Laude. (Photo by J Gerard Seguia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A slogan 'Justice' is reflected on the spectacles of a protester during a candle light vigil inside the campus of the state university in Manila on October 24, 2014, to coincide with the burial of murdered transgender woman Jennifer Laude . A US Marine accused of murdering a transgender woman was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters October 22, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be taken off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
German Marc Susselbeck (3rd L), boyfriend of murdered Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude, also known as 'Jeffrey,' and Jennifer's sister Marilou (2nd L) climb over the gate of the facility where Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton is detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Manila on October 22, 2014. A US Marine accused of murdering a Filipina was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters Wednesday, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)
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A Philippine court on Tuesday found a U.S. Marine guilty of killing a transgender woman, jailing him for six to 12 years in a case that has reignited debate over the American military presence in the country.

The Olongapo City regional trial court also ordered Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton to pay more than 4.5 million pesos ($95,350) to the family of Jennifer Laude, who was found dead last year in a hotel outside the former U.S. navy base northwest of Manila.

He will serve a minimum of six years and a maximum of 12 years in jail. Laude had been charged with murder but was convicted of the lesser offense of homicide, which does not require malicious intent.

He can appeal against the verdict and sentence.

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"This is not quite a victory," Laude's sister, Malou, told Reuters. "We expected a murder conviction but instead got homicide. We are not contented with the decision."

Outside the hall of justice, there were protesters carrying placards saying "Justice for Jennifer laude! Justice for the Filipino people", "Jail Pemberton in the Philippines".

Pemberton will be temporarily held in the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa, south of the capital, until the Philippines and U.S. government agree on where he should serve his sentence as prescribed under a visiting forces agreement.

This term of 20 years to life was the maximum penalty the regional trial court could have handed down if Pemberton had been convicted of murder, after the Philippines repealed the death penalty in June 2006.

The case has stirred debate over the presence of American soldiers on Philippine soil after Filipino senators voted two decades ago to kick out U.S. bases in the country because of social issues, such as crimes committed by servicemen.

The two allies are waiting for the Philippine supreme court to approve a pact allowing the U.S. military to store supplies at Philippine bases for operations related to maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disasters.

Pemberton had earlier admitted in court to choking, but not killing, Laude. He told the court he acted in self-defense after he discovered that a man was giving him oral sex, not a woman.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

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