A U.S. Marine has been found guilty of killing a transgender Filipino after discovering her gender in a hotel in the Philippines last year.

Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted Tuesday of homicide by first strangling Jennifer Laude and then dunking her head into a toilet bowl in the hotel they had checked into after meeting in a disco bar in Olongapo city, northwest of Manila. Court clerk Gerry Gruspe said Pemberton was sentenced to up to 12 years in jail.

The killing has reignited calls by left-wing groups and nationalists for an end to America's military presence in the Philippines at a time when the U.S. is reasserting its dominance in Asia, and Manila has turned to Washington for support amid an escalating territorial dispute with China.