A Buddhist meditation master based near Newark was jailed for eight years after admitting to sexually abusing a three-year-old girl, four decades ago, at her home in Brighton over six years.
Koji Takeuchi, who also goes by his professional name of Buddha Maitreya, went to the girls’ house for meditation sessions with her parents.
Takeuchi, now 80, of Trent Lane, North Clifton, told them he would look after her so they could sleep, but subjected her to sexual abuse for several years.
Takeuchi was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday, October 30 following an investigation by Sussex Police safeguarding detectives.
He admitted sexual assaults on the girl, then aged between three and nine, in her own home between 1975 and 1981.
He also told the victim they were “boyfriend and girlfriend” and told her to keep it a secret, according to The Argus.
Takeuchi was given two consecutive three-year sentences with an additional one year extended licence for each of them, as well as two years extended custody.
The court also imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Protection Order barring him from working with vulnerable adults or children for life. He will be a registered sex offender for life.
In an impact statement the victim said: “What Buddha Maitreya has done has destroyed me,” and that “he took away my childhood and I will never get that back”.
Detective Constable Stewart Cameron, of the Brighton Safeguarding Investigations Unit, said: “Takeuchi used his trusted position as a monk to ingratiate himself with this family and under the guise of hosting meditation sessions there, he swiftly groomed this very young and vulnerable girl and systematically abused her for his own sexual gratification for a long time.
“He made her believe that they were girlfriend and boyfriend and that this was their secret, until Takeuchi abruptly broke off the relationship.
“This terrible experience robbed the victim of her childhood and has had a lasting impact on her life.
“Eventually in 2018 she summoned up the resolve and strength to come forward and fully disclose to us what had happened to her all those years ago.
“This investigation is another example of the way we will always follow up such reports, regardless of how long ago the events are said to have occurred, to support the victim and seek justice for them wherever possible.”
Takeuchi built a “miniature landscape of Japan” in his garden which is called ‘Pure Land Meditation Centre and Japanese Garden’.
In 2015, Takeuchi featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s ITV television series Britain’s Best Back Gardens. He saw 10,000 visitors a year at his Japanese garden in North Clifton, Nottinghamshire.