A young baritone singer, who is considered a rising star in the opera community, made allegations against a married couple within that same community, suggesting that they drugged and raped him several years ago.
Samuel Schultz recalled meeting David Daniels, 52, and his husband, Scott Walters, 36, in 2010 at a closing party for Houston Grand Opera’s presentation of "Xerxes." Walters is a musical conductor, and Daniels, according to The New York Daily News, is considered the most famous countertenor in the world.
Daniels had a starring role in the show, and when the performance was over, he and Walter invited Schultz back to an apartment for a drink. Schultz, who said he isn’t a heavy drinker, didn't want to disappoint and agreed to have one drink. He claimed in his police affidavit that he took a few sips, after which he passed out until the following afternoon.
When he awoke, he was in an unfamiliar place. According to his statement, he was “alone, completely naked. I was sore and I didn’t know why.” He went to the restroom where he discovered he was bleeding from the rectum.
He wanted to ask the couple what had happened, but they were not in the apartment.
“I tiptoed out of the bedroom to discover that David and Scott were not there. When they came back from eating somewhere, I think they asked if I had a good time,” he said in his statement.
That’s when the couple spoke to him in some chilling terms.
“I remember David saying, ‘Don’t worry about the BB thing, I’m totally negative,’” Schultz alleged.
BB stands for “bareback,” a term which means sexual intercourse without a condom.
Schultz explained that he did not file charges at the time because of how influential the couple were — their prominence in the community was so well-known that they had even been married by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2014. Schultz said he feared what coming forward would mean for his own career.
Schultz did, however, tell a trusted friend about the incident, who corroborated the story to The Daily News.
He also spoke to a therapist about what had happened, and, with Schultz’s permission, the therapist detailed what he had told her back in 2010.
“His emotional state, his psychological state of mind and functionality were markedly affected,” the therapist told the publication. “He has proceeded over to time to work very hard to address this abuse in an attempt to recover from the impact and has managed to turn this into a cause so that he’s not dragged into hell [by it].”
Both Daniels and Walter denied the allegations.
“I appreciate you reaching out to me,” Daniels told The Daily News. “Other than I deny these allegations, I have nothing to say. They're completely false.”
Schultz said he came forward after all these years upon learning that Daniels had earned a tenured position at the University of Michigan. Being in that close proximity to young students and aspiring students, Schultz said he wanted to make sure no one else would ever have to experience what he alleged happened to him.
These allegations must be taken seriously to protect the students Schultz said he wanted to ensure deserve to be safe by coming forward. The Houston police are investigating the matter. In the meantime, the University of Michigan must take whatever steps are necessary to keep their students guarded against the potential for abuse.
Schultz deserves to be believed — as with any other individual who has been inspired by the #MeToo movement to share their stories of sexual assault or abuse, his story should not be scoffed at simply because it involves a prominent couple from the opera community.
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