Michigan Republicans nominate likely ineligible lawmaker for state elections board

UM details sex allegations against professor

Detroit News staff and wire reports

The University of Michigan has been moving to terminate a renowned opera singer and professor amid accusations he sought students for sex as well as engaged in other misconduct, according to documents obtained by The Detroit News.

The revelations come weeks after a grand jury in Texas indicted countertenor David Daniels and his husband, William Scott Walters, in the sexual assault of an incapacitated man in 2010.

David Daniels

They were arrested in Ann Arbor in January on warrants arising from the criminal complaint of Samuel Schultz, who has alleged the couple drugged and assaulted him when he was living in Houston as a 23-year-old graduate student at Rice University.

Last year, Daniels took a leave of absence amid the claims. A UM graduate student later filed a federal lawsuit in which he alleged the performer groped him, sent sexual photos and videos of himself, and requested sexual photos and videos.

Documents The News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act this week show UM officials last spring pushed to initiate dismissal proceedings against Daniels after determining he “has engaged in a pattern of behavior that is harassing, abusive and exploitive of University of Michigan students.”

Citing information from a report the school’s Office of Institutional Equity completed this year, internal memos dated April 19 describe several instances of alleged “unacceptable conduct” that prompted the recommendation for termination. Those include:

◾Soliciting multiple students in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance for sex in exchange for money, and in at least one case, implying he would help advance a student’s career. The university described the conduct as "potentially criminal activity by a person in a position of power." 

◾Sending pornographic images and at least one sexually explicit video of himself to multiple students.

◾Making open and graphic sexual comments to multiple students as well as at least one prospective student.

◾Commenting on wanting sexual relationships with students “and/or engaging in sexual banter with them,” including during lessons and discussions related to academic and performance matters.

◾Providing false information during the OIE review of a March 2018 allegation that Daniels had solicited a student for "sex in exchange for compensation," then offering details in a subsequent probe “that, at a minimum, appeared to be misleading.”

A hearing on the dismissal proceedings is scheduled to start Nov. 11 and continue three days later, according to the UM documents. A committee is slated to review evidence from school officials and Daniels.

An attorney listed as representing Daniels did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.