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Appeals court clears Hayden Kho in 'sex video' case


The Court of Appeals has cleared controversial cosmetic doctor-turned-celebrity Hayden Kho Jr. of criminal liability in the uploading of an intimate video he took of himself and actress Katrina Halili in 2009. In an eight-page decision penned by Associate Justice Manuel Barrios, the CA’s Second Division affirmed the January 25, 2011 ruling of Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 159 which dismissed Halili’s case against Kho for violation of Republic Act No. 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. Halili filed the case against Kho after the video, which she claimed was filmed without her consent, went viral in 2010. The CA upheld the trial court's dismissal of the case on the grounds that the prosecution did not submit enough evidence proving that Kho videotaped their encounter without her consent, or was responsible for uploading the videos. “It is our considered view that public respondent did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying due course to the appeal. A petition for certiorari must show that the trial court committed an act in such a capricious, whimsical manner that the abuse of discretion becomes patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law,” the CA ruled. The appellate court pointed out that the trial court hearings established that there were instances in which Halili knew she was being filmed by Kho. The trial court noted the filming then would not have caused Halili mental and emotional anguish. Regarding Halili's claim that the video's being made public caused her emotional and psychological distress, the trial court said that she failed to substantiate her claim that Kho was responsible for uploading and disseminating the video. Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Remedios Salazar-Fernando and Normandie Pizarro. In July, another division of the appeals court affirmed the ruling of the Professional Regulation Commission to revoke Kho's license to practice medicine after he was found guilty of immorality, dishonorable and unethical conduct. The PRC’s investigation on Kho stemmed from a Senate inquiry on the scandal. The regulatory body’s ruling upheld the previous recommendation of the Board of Medicine to recall Kho’s license. According to court records, Halili said the sex recording occurred within two weeks after Kho performed a liposuction procedure on her on August 22, 2007. She claimed that the doctor-patient relationship between them still existed at the time. - BM, GMA News
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