Photo/Illutration The headquarters of the Kanagawa prefectural police in Yokohama (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Police arrested a doctor accused of participating in a “sex orgy party” that involved a high school girl at a Tokyo hotel and also referred seven other men to prosecutors including a Buddhist priest. 

Ryu Iwatate, 34, who lives in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, was arrested on suspicion of violating the child welfare law and law to criminalize child prostitution and child pornography, Kanagawa prefectural police announced on Aug. 9.

Iwatate denied the charges, saying, “I did not know she was under 18 years old,” according to sources.

Investigators said Iwatate paid 25,000 yen ($185) to attend a party that involved the girl who was 17 at the time at a hotel in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on April 8, 2020.

Iwatate is suspected of conspiring with seven other men, including a 37-year-old priest living in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, and a 52-year-old company executive residing in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, to have the student commit immoral acts and take videos on a smartphone.

On Aug. 4, the police referred the seven men to prosecutors on the same charges.

The party was organized by Ryota Takahashi, 31, who operates a video distribution agency. Takahashi was indicted on violating the law to criminalize child prostitution and child pornography and other charges.

He posted on social media that attendees could have an orgy with third-grade high schoolers at a party.

Takahashi is accused of hosting three events from April to June 2020. Twenty-nine people, including a certified public accountant and a teacher from a public junior high school in Chiba Prefecture, reportedly attended the events.