NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The music director for a Queens church has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a juvenile parishioner.
Police say Rafael Diaz of Forest Hills was arrested at his home Saturday. Last Thursday, the alleged victim’s father came to the church and reported that Diaz had sexually abused his daughter during private piano lessons over the course of two years.
According to the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Queens was not aware that Diaz was hired by the alleged victim’s parents to give their child private music lessons at their home.
The diocese says they immediately contacted the NYPD and are cooperating with authorities during the investigation.
Diaz’s employment was terminated upon his arrest Saturday, according to the diocese.
In a statement sent to CBS2 on Monday, the diocese said they “take the protection of every child very seriously.”
“It performs criminal background checks on every employee and volunteer,” the statement continued. “It also requires them, as well as minors, to complete ongoing training for the prevention of sexual abuse.
Diaz is charged with sexual abuse against a child under 11, sex abuse, and acting in a manner injurious to a child.