Opera singer from UM arrested on sex assault charge
A renowned opera singer and University of Michigan professor is in police custody on allegations that he and his husband in 2010 sexually assaulted a singer in Houston.
Countertenor David Daniels and his spouse, William A. Scott Walters, were arrested Tuesday in Ann Arbor on Texas warrants charging each of them with sexual assault of an adult. A Houston police spokesman declined to comment on the charges Wednesday.
Samuel Schultz told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the couple assaulted him when he was living in Houston as a 23-year-old graduate student at Rice University. Schultz met them at a Houston Grand Opera reception and was invited back to their apartment, where he said he was given a drink that led him to slip in and out of consciousness. He filed a criminal complaint with Houston police in July.
The AP doesn’t normally name victims of sexual assault but Schultz offered to publicly identify himself to help others fearful of reporting an assault.
“This is about seeking stalled justice and helping other victims of sexual violence be aware that fear doesn’t need to keep them in silence,” he said. “I had many reasons to be very fearful of coming forward as a student and in the years after being a graduate student … but I realized that by letting go of that fear I’m getting my life back.”
An attorney for the couple, Houston-based lawyer Matt Hennessy, said Daniels and Walters “are innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Schultz “waited eight years to complain about adult, consensual sex to ride the #MeToo movement to unearned celebrity,” Hennessy said. “We will fight this.”
The San Francisco Opera announced in November that it had removed Daniels from a production later this year of Handel’s “Orlando” due to a separate sexual assault allegation made in a lawsuit by a University of Michigan student.
The lawsuit filed in a Michigan federal court alleges Daniels groped the male student and sent and requested sexual photos. The lawsuit also alleges that Daniels served the student alcohol, gave him sleep medication and touched him sexually.
Daniels said in a statement at the time that the accusations were “both false and malicious” and denied any physical relationship with the student.