• Kyodo


A Romanian court sentenced a man to life imprisonment Thursday for the rape and murder of a Japanese university student last August, two separate slayings and other crimes, the national news agency Agerpres reported.

The Bucharest Court of Appeals handed down the sentence on Nicolae Vlad for the murders of three women, one of whom was 20-year-old Yurika Masuno, who went to Romania to teach Japanese on an internship program, according to the report.

The court also found the Romanian guilty of rape, robbery and other crimes.

Romanian judicial authorities said the defendant approached the student of the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo at Bucharest airport on the evening of Aug. 15, offering to help her go to a train station in Bucharest and getting in the taxi with her.

Vlad then got out of the taxi with Masuno near the airport and took her to a nearby forest, where he raped and strangled her, according to the authorities.

Vlad may appeal the ruling, Agerpres said.

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