Murder charges filed against US marine in death of transgender woman

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Murder charges were filed on Monday by prosecutors in the Philippines against a US marine in the death of a transgender woman.

This comes after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found strangled in October, naked with her head in a toilet near a US Navy Base.

US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton – who was one of hundreds of US marines in the area for a training exercise – was formally charged of the woman’s murder a few days later.

Pemberton’s lawyer later filed a motion to “declare the absence of probable cause for murder or any other crime”.

The head of public prosecution today announced that a lawsuit had been filed, saying there was a strong case after a review of evidence.

The court, in Olongapo City, which is handling the case, is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Pemberton this week.

A witness has claimed Laude’s body was discovered after she shared a room alone with Pemberton at Celzone lodge.

Pemberton failed to make an appearance during preliminary investigation in October.

Politicians in the Philippines are pushing for a tougher anti-discrimination law following the incident, which has also stirred anti-US sentiment.