Kanagawa police: Shinto priest picked up teen hooker via GPS app

Tatsuya Saito
Tatsuya Saito via Facebook

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested 27-year-old Shinto priest at a historic shrine in Hiratsuka City for picking up an underage female prostitute he met online, reports Sports Hochi (April 13).

On September 16 of last year, Tatsuya Saito, an assistant senior priest at the Hiratsuka Hachimangu Shrine, paid 20,000 yen to the girl, 16, for the provision of sexual acts over a two-hour period.

Saito, who has been charged with violating child prostitution and pornography laws, denies the allegations. “I paid her for the sex acts, but I didn’t know she was 16 years old,” the suspect is quoted by police.

Saito got to know the girl through a smartphone application that utilizes the Global Positioning System to arrange encounters.

A representative of the Hiratsuka Hachimangu Shrine, whose origins date back more than 1,600 years, expressed surprise at the arrest. “He did not experience problems in work or in his attitude,” the representative is quoted. “He had been working normally.”

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