A Tokyo High Court judge has been arrested on suspicion of paying a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him in January, in violation of the law banning child prostitution, police said Sunday.

Yasuhiro Muraki, 43, a resident of Tokyo’s Nakano Ward, has reportedly admitted to the charge, police said.

According to investigations, on Jan. 20 Muraki paid the girl, who was a second-year junior high school student at the time, 20,000 yen to have sex with him at a hotel in Kawasaki.

Police said Muraki had been introduced to the girl by her classmate, another young girl he had met through a mobile phone Web site designed to facilitate encounters.

Muraki is also suspected of paying the classmate 15,000 yen for other sexual acts last December, police said.

Police began probing the case of Muraki and the 14-year-old girl after she told police about her relations with the judge during questioning in a separate case.

Muraki was arrested Saturday afternoon while waiting on a street in Kawasaki to meet the girl who had introduced him to the 14-year-old in the case.

“I realize that I have done something illegal, and I am very sorry,” investigators quoted Muraki as saying.

Takehiko Otani, chief of the high court secretariat, said Muraki’s arrest was regrettable and added that the judge will be duly punished if the charges against him are confirmed. Muraki was appointed to the Tokyo High Court after having worked as an assistant judge at the Hiroshima District Court, the Nagoya Family Court, the Kanazawa District and Family Courts, and as a judge at the Yamaguchi Family and District Courts.

He passed the National Bar Examination in 1983.

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