Statement on Arrest of Rafael Diaz

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, Rafael Diaz was arrested by the NYPD for the alleged sexual assault of a parishioner who attends Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Queens. The church was not aware that Diaz, who was the musical director at the church, was hired by the alleged victim’s parents to give their child private music lessons at their home.  On Thursday, January 12, 2017, the alleged victim’s father came to the church and reported that Mr. Diaz had sexually abused his daughter during private lessons. Diocesan officials immediately contacted the NYPD and are cooperating with authorities during the investigation. Mr. Diaz’s employment was terminated upon his arrest. The Diocese of Brooklyn takes the protection of children very seriously. It performs criminal background checks on every employee and volunteer. It also requires them, as well as minors, to complete ongoing training for the prevention of sexual abuse.