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Transgender jailed 6 weeks on illicit sex charges

14 May 2016

A Filipino transgender changed his mind and pleaded guilty before his scheduled trial on May 11 for a charge of soliciting for an immoral purpose and breach of condition of stay. As a result, he was sentenced to six weeks in jail for each charge, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
Junisan Catarungan, 21, who came here as a tourist, sobbed as he was sentenced by Eastern Court Magistrate June Cheung.
The soliciting case happened in April, when Catarungan offered to have sex in exchange for $1,500 with an undercover officer who had posed as tourist in a pub in Wanchai.
After the officer agreed to the offer, Catarungan took him to a room in Holiday Inn Express in Causeway Bay. There the officer arrested Catarungan.
The report said a search of the defendant’s belongings yielded unused condoms and a Philippine passport with a Hong Kong Immigration stamp showing he was a tourist permitted to stay in the city from April 15 to 25.
In mitigation, the duty lawyer said Carunungan was single, had a clear record and was a political science and law graduate in the Philippines.
He came to Hong Kong to engage in the illicit trade because of a financial burden.
His job back home paid only Php10,000 a month, which was not enough to support his parents and a brother who had had a mild stroke.
Magistrate Cheung warned the defendant against engaging in illegal work in Hong Kong. “I want to remind you, don’t come back to Hong Kong to find work again or engage in any activity,” Cheung said. – Vir B. Lumicao

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