PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The leader of a Long Island church group has admitted to raping a 12-year-old girl in his home, according to a Suffolk County law enforcement official.

Fifth Squad Detective Sgt. Bryan McMenemy told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon that 30-year-old Juan Carlos Amaya confessed to the crime.

“He did admit to this incident and he was aware of how old the victim was,” McMenemy said.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon speaks with Detective Sgt. Bryan McMenemy

Amaya was accused of raping the child last May. He apparently got to know her at the Evangelical Refuge Church of Salvation in Patchogue, police said. However, Glenda Castillo, Amaya’s cousin, said the girl was pointing the finger at Amaya to cast blame away from herself, CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reported.

“’Cause little high school girls do stuff with other guys and they blame it on other persons, that’s why. Parents should take care more of their freakin’ kids,” Castillo said.

Suffolk County police, however, said Amaya used his position as leader of the church youth group.

“He befriended her and became, according to her, her mentor. She would go to him and speak to him about, you know, daily life and the problems she may be having,” Detective Sgt. Daniel Molloy said.

A source close to the investigation told Guzman that Amaya texted the girl and convinced her to come out of her house. And then it is alleged he convinced her to go into his car and to his house.

That house, in Bellport, is where police said the rape occurred. At the door Monday, Freddie Maldonado, who said he is also a member of the church, said he has been renting a room to Amaya for about a year. He said it is hard to believe the charges. At the church, an official told reporters to leave. Police said the girl finally told her father what allegedly happened.

“Which is generally unusual for a 12 year old girl, but they did have a good relationship,” Detective Sgt. Molloy said.

Amaya is being held on $250,000 cash bail.

Amaya, it turns out, is here illegally from El Salvador. If he is convicted, after a prison sentence, he will be deported.

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