Police said Friday they have arrested a 73-year-old Buddhist chief priest on suspicion of paying 80,000 yen to a 15-year-old girl for sexual acts with her in 2004.

Itsushi Ehara, who also runs a nursery school, owned up to the misdeeds and voiced regret, saying, “I yielded to lust. . . . I had been frustrated in managing the school,” police quoted him as saying.

They also suspect Ehara paid money about 20 times for sexual acts with four or five girls aged between 15 and 17 over a number of years in violation of the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and for Protecting Children.

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