A Ho Chi Minh City court on Thursday sentenced a teen boy to 18 years in prison after finding him guilty of raping and killing a schoolmate at a hotel last year, local media reported.
Nguyen Van Thien, 17, was supposed to receive a total of 25 years for charges of "murder" and "child rape." However, under Vietnam's laws, offenders under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to more than 18 years.
Thien was also ordered to pay over VND100 million (nearly US$4,500) as compensation for the victim's family.
According to the indictment, Thien and other schoolmates from the central province of Quang Binh returned from a trip to Singapore and stayed one night at the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh District in July last year.
When they were about to leave for Quang Binh on July 22, Thien said he lost his passport and asked the victim, a 13-year-old girl, to go up with him to his room to look for it.
After they entered the room, Thien reportedly locked the door and pushed the victim to the bathroom with an intention to rape her.
As the girl resisted him, Thien strangled her until she passed out. He then raped her, prosecutors said.
Their teachers said after waiting in the lobby for around 15 minutes they started looking for both of the students.
Nguyen Van Thien is escorted by police after he was arrested in Quang Binh Province on August 3, 2015. Photo: Hue Minh
They then asked a hotel employee to open the door to Thien's room and found the girl in the bathtub, unconscious and bleeding.
Thien fled while the others were busy saving the girl, who died the next morning at a hospital.
Police said there was enough forensic evidence of him raping and strangling the girl.
Thien was arrested 10 days later when he was hiding in Quang Binh.
Their friends said Thien was in love with the girl but she repeatedly turned him down.