Former Music Director At Colorado Church Charged With Raping 13-Year-Old Student, Officials Say
A 36-year-old man who served as music director at St. John’s School and church in Denver is being investigated for the alleged rape of a teenage student, officials said.
Last May, Diego Marroquin allegedly sexually assaulted the 13-year-old girl on a balcony overlooking the church, CBS News Colorado reported.
According to police documents obtained by the station, the girl told investigators her “mind went black" and she "couldn’t believe this was happening" to her.
On the day of the incident, the girl claimed Marroquin asked her to help with some work on the balcony of the church sanctuary, the documents state, and he tried to kiss and fondle her. She told investigators she was “freaking out, really scared..."
"What did I do to deserve it? It was disgusting,” she told police.
The teenager said she tried to resist Marroquin but the documents state she claimed that “he pulled his jeans down then my jeans and started having sex with me.”
Once it was over, the girl said she ran from the church.
Jessica and Aaron Vandam said their daughter came forward in mid-August, three months after the alleged incident, but they claimed church and school leaders said the teenager was lying and the accusations amounted to slander and gossip, CBS News Colorado reported.
Aaron Vandal told the station, “We were treated as guilty. We were completely ostracized. We were treated as if we were the bad people.”
Days after the accusations came to light, Pastor Andrew Farhat left the parents multiple voicemails, which they shared with CBS News Colorado.
In one message the parents claimed was from Farhat, he allegedly said that “nothing bad happened” and he “knew it was a lie,” so he “wanted to squash it right away so that no one would think that the police need to be involved.”
Marroquin was allowed to stay at the school and church even after church administrators learned about the alleged incident when the Vandams went to Denver police.
The Denver Police Department charged Marroquin with a felony and obtained an arrest warrant in November, officials said.
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According to Marroquin’s social media profile, he left the state at the beginning of November and relocated to Texas. Jessica Vandal used the accused's social media to track him down and eventually get him arrested, according to CBS News Colorado.
On Christmas Eve, the alleged victim's mother was watching a live Facebook feed from a church in McKinney, Texas, and spotted Marroquin playing guitar with the church ensemble.
She called local police and provided them screenshots of the service, and within two hours, Marroquin was arrested.
Marroquin, who is scheduled to appear in court next month, told CBS News Colorado he hoped “the truth comes out.”
Meanwhile, the Vandams removed their two daughters from St. John’s School and said they anticipate taking legal action.
Phil Barnard, the principal of St. John’s School, told CBS News Colorado that the school had installed additional cameras and were taking other steps to educate staff and students about behavior that is potentially criminal.
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