Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story failed to mention that Daniels had been dropped as a defendant in the suit filed by Andrew Lipian in February. However, the suit against the University of Michigan continues. In it, Lipian alleges that U of M knew that Daniels was sexually harassing students and failed to take action.
University of Michigan Professor and opera star David Daniels and his husband, former Out Loud Chorus Artistic Director (William) Scott Walters, were indicted in Houston July 25 on charges of sexual assault. Daniels, 53, and Walters, 36, are accused of raping Samuel Schultz in a 2010 incident. Schultz has said that the couple, who face a sentence of between two and 20 years in prison if convicted, plied him with Ambien and alcohol before raping him at their apartment following a chance meeting at a Houston Grand Opera reception.
Schultz, who was a 23-year-old grad student at Rice University when the incident happened, said he came forward to help others who might be fearful of filing a report. But Matt Hennessy, an attorney in Houston representing the couple, said that Schultz is no victim.
“He drove himself to David and Scott’s apartment at 3:20 a.m. to meet them after a night of partying,” Hennessy told the Associated Press. “But he leaves that fact out every time he tells the story. You have to wonder why.”
Daniels has been on paid leave from his position at U of M since last year, the same time Walters stepped down from his position from Out Loud. A second lawsuit was filed last October in Federal Court. Daniels was dropped as a defendant in February, but the suit, filed by U of M student Andrew Lipian, continues against the university. In it, Lipian also alleges that Daniels gave him alcohol and Ambien disguised as Tylenol before forcing himself upon him. Following the encounter, Lipian claims that Daniels told him he would likely be receiving a fellowship for his master’s program.
In a statement released at the time through a public relations firm, Daniels denied the claims.
“These allegations are both false and malicious,” read the statement. “I have never had a physical relationship with the individual mentioned in this complaint. The events alleged here never happened and I intend to defend my reputation. I am an openly gay man who has been married to a wonderful partner for the past four years. It pains me that someone, for reasons that I cannot fathom, would attempt to destroy my career, the program at Michigan and all that I hold dear.”
As the Texas case winds its way through the courts, U of M has allegedly begun proceedings to terminate Daniels from his tenured position, which reportedly pays him nearly $200,000 a year.