Queens Church Choir Director Accused of Sexually Abusing Girl, 11, During Music Lessons

A 69-year-old Queens church choir director has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl during piano and singing lessons at her home over a period of two years, prosecutors say. 

Rafael A. Diaz, of Jamaica Queens, was the girl's choir director at Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Queens when he began coaching her in voice and piano, according to the Queens district attorney's office. 

Several times between January 2013 and June 2014, Diaz groped the girl over her clothing and made inappropriate remarks, prosecutors say.

When the girl, now 15, told her father about what happened, the girl's father and Diaz had a phone conversation in which Diaz allegedly admitted to touching the girl and said it happened five or six times, and that it stopped when the music lessons stopped. 

Diaz was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Sunday on a charge of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child. Bail was set at $35,000.

It's not clear if Diaz had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. A call to the church went unanswered Tuesday. 

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