CA rejects Pemberton’s appeal, affirms conviction in Laude case

  • The Court of Appeals has junked the appeal of US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton to overturn the conviction in the Laude homicide case
  • He was earlier convicted of homicide by the lower court in Olongapo City
  • The American soldier was also ordered to pay the Laude family P4.32 million for loss of earning capacity

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has rejected the appeal of US Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton to overturn the Olongapo court’s early ruling convicting the American of homicide in the death of transgender Jennifer Laude in October 2014.

In affirming the decision handed down by Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74, the CA junked Pemberton’s appeal for lack of merit.

The Appellate Court also the upheld the lower court decision to pay the Laude family P4.32 million for loss of earning capacity. Additionally, Pemberton was ordered to pay P30,000 in exemplary damages,  while moral damages and civil indemnity were increased from P50,000 each to P75,000 each.

“Further, Pemberton shall pay interest at the rate of six percent (6%) per annum on all civil liability from the finality of this Decision until fully paid,” the ruling stated.

In December 2015, the lower court junked Pemberton’s motion for reconsideration; prompting his camp to elevate the case to the CA.

In its ruling, the CA said there is no actual physical assault or at least a threat to inflict real imminent injury on the suspect for an ‘unlawful aggression’ coming from the victim to exist.

“Here, Pemberton did not suffer any injury when he allowed Laude to perform oral s*x on him,” the court explained.

The American has been sentenced with up to 10 year imprisonment after he was convicted of homicide.

Jennifer Laude was found dead inside a motel room in Olongapo City last October 11, 2014; hours after meeting Pemberton at a bar. The American is the last person seen with the victim before her death due to asphyxiation.

Pemberton is currently behind bars at the detention facility in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo while the trial is being heard.

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