A U.S. marine is being held in the death of a 26-year-old transsexual hooker who deceived the marine into believing he was a biological female.
The NY Post reports Private First Class Scott Pemberton is being held on the U.S. warship Peleliu until an investigation into the death of Jeffrey Laude is completed.
Pemberton met Laude, also known as Jennifer, at a popular heterosexual disco.
An employee at a hotel in nearby Olangapo City told police he saw an "unidentified white male foreigner" with a "marine style hair cut" accompany Laude into a hotel room before midnight on Sunday.
He said the man left the room in a hurry about 30 minutes later. The witness then entered the room and found Laude's naked body on a bathroom floor partially covered with a blanket. Laude's body bore signs of strangulation. His head was resting on the rim of the toilet and his tongue was protruding from his mouth.
Another transsexual accompanied Pemberton and Laude from the disco to the hotel. Laude's friend told police Laude "became uneasy" and asked him to leave before Pemberton discovered that they were transexuals.
Three other marines are being held as witnesses on the warship. Pemberton and the 3 witnesses were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Filipino transgender activists protested outside the U.S. embassy on Tuesday.
"We demand for the immediate resolution of (Laude's) case so that the person responsible will be brought to justice," Dindi Tan, a board member for the Association of Transgenders in the Philippines, wrote on his Facebook.
Pemberton and the other marines were in the Philippines to participate in a joint exercise between U.S. and Philippine forces. About 3,500 marines are in the Philippines.
Marines are forewarned to beware of the plethora of transsexual males who prey upon drunk marines at discos and bars in the Philippines.
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