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69-year-old Catholic school music teacher fondles 11-year-old girl while giving her lessons

By Mason White 5:31 PM January 17, 2017
Girl playing the piano (illustration)
By: Mahesh Sarin

An employee of a Catholic school abused his position and fondled a young girl while giving her lessons, according to police in New York.

The New York Police Department said that they have arrested 69-year-old Rafael Diaz of Queens, after being accused of sexually assaulting the 11-year-old girl multiple times.

Diaz has been charged with sexual conduct against a child less than 13, sexual abuse in the first degree and acting in a manner injurious to a child under 17.

He was booked into jail, and his bail has been set at $35,000.

Diaz was fired from his job as the music director for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. According to the criminal complaint, the girl told investigators that Diaz fondled her chest while making her sing.

He once asked her if she had started her menstrual cycle, and then put his hands on her private parts. The sexual assaults occurred four or five times in the girl’s home.

About two weeks after the last incident, the girl told her mother that she wanted to leave the choir stop getting music lessons.

She did not tell her mother a reason for her decision. Two weeks later, the girl saw Diaz on a train, where he apologized to her and asked her to return to the choir.

She was upset and told her father everything. The father went to the church to complain, and officials called the police.