OPERA NEWS - Countertenor David Daniels Arrested on Charges of Sexual Assault, Faces Extradition to Texas
From Development server
30 January 2019

Countertenor David Daniels Arrested on Charges of Sexual Assault, Faces Extradition to Texas 

COUNTERTENOR DAVID DANIELS and his husband, Scott Walters, were arrested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Tuesday, and will reportedly be extradited to Texas where they will face prosecution for allegations of sexually assaulting a singer in Houston almost ten years ago, several media outlets reported on Wednesday. 

According to Michigan Live, Daniels and Walters were under investigation by the Houston Police Department after a singer publicly alleged to the New York Daily News in August that they had assaulted him in Houston in 2010 when he was twenty-three-years-old. At the time of their arrests on Tuesday, both Daniels and Walters were each charged with second-degree assault and reportedly could face between two and twenty years in prison if convicted. 

In a statement released to the press, Daniels and Walters’ lawyer, Matt Hennessy, denied allegations brought against the couple: “David and Scott are innocent of any wrongdoing Sam Schultz is not a victim. He never would have gotten this much attention from his singing, and he knows and resents that fact,” he said. “He waited eight years to complain about adult, consensual sex to ride the MeToo movement to unearned celebrity. We will fight this.”

In August, Samuel Schultz gave an interview to the New York Daily News wherein he alleged that he was drugged and assaulted by Daniels and Walters following a 2010 performance by the countertenor at Houston Grand Opera. Schultz claimed that he was subsequently contacted by the University of Michigan Police Department in July 2018 after he published allegations of the incident in an online statement that did not mention Daniels or Walters by name. Daniels is currently on a paid leave of absence from his job as a professor of voice at the University of Michigan. 

“Professor Daniels has been on leave, and off campus, since August 2018,” a University of Michigan spokesperson told the New York Daily News. “We will continue to closely monitor the situation as we determine the appropriate next steps.”

In addition to the charges in Texas, Daniels has also been named as the defendant in a civil suit that was filed by a former University of Michigan student, Andrew Lipian, who accused the countertenor of sexual assaulting him in 2017. According to Michigan Live, Daniels filed a counter claim against Lipian in December, calling the allegations “fake and malicious.”  

At the time that Schultz’s allegations were made public, Houston Grand Opera managing director Perryn Leech said that the company would “cooperate with any law enforcement inquiries and launch our own investigation once we know the full range of the allegations.” In November, San Francisco Opera announced that it had removed Daniels from the role of Medoro in the company’s June 2019 presentation of Handel’s Orlando following the “the serious allegations of sexual assault, an on-going police investigation and a lawsuit filed against the American opera singer.” spacer 

More information can be found at Michigan Live and the New York Daily News.

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