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Police have turned over to prosecutors their case on alleged “forced indecency” by a priest assigned to the Archdiocese of Nagasaki, according to informed sources.

The 44-year-old priest is suspected of hugging a female Catholic and touching her body against her will at his church in Nagasaki Prefecture in May 2018, the sources said Monday.

The archdiocese suspended him that August but did not disclose the move to church members.

It reportedly did not report the matter to the Vatican on the grounds that police investigations were underway. According to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, incidents such as this are supposed to be reported immediately to the Vatican.

The failure by the archdiocese “effectively amounts to a cover-up,” an informed source said.

The priest was reportedly drunk when the alleged incident happened, sources said.

The victim was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and was unable to work, the sources said, adding that she had to go through long-term hospitalization.

The Nagasaki Prefectural Police started an investigation after receiving an offense report in November 2018.

On Monday, the archdiocese said it takes the matter seriously and promised to take appropriate action when a judicial decision is made, while giving full consideration to the victim.

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