A Chilean man has appealed his 28-year prison sentence over the murder of his Japanese ex-girlfriend in France in 2016.
Nicolas Zepeda, 31, lodged the appeal on Wednesday, a day after a local French court gave him his sentence and determined that the murder was premeditated, as prosecutors had previously claimed. Zepeda moved to Japan to study at the University of Tsukuba in 2014 and started dating Kurosaki, according to reports. In September 2016, Kurosaki moved to Besançon, France, at the age of 21 to study language as an exchange student at the University of Franche-Comte.
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The couple reportedly broke up in the fall of that year but met again while having dinner with acquaintances on Dec. 4, 2016. The two went to Kurosaki’s dormitory after their meal, and some students claimed to have heard a scream from her room later that night. She has been missing ever since.
Zepeda went back to Chile shortly after Kurosaki’s disappearance. He was handed over to French authorities in July 2020 with the help of Chilean authorities.
French prosecutors formally charged Zepeda with murder, claiming that he committed the crime over a quarrel. The court has not disclosed the reasoning behind the ruling, according to reports.
Zepeda’s trial began in March. French prosecutors reportedly argued for lifetime imprisonment, but Zepeda was only given a 28-year prison sentence.
French authorities launched a search for Kurosaki’s body after her disappearance, but police have yet to find her remains.