February 22nd, 2024

Opera singer David Daniels no longer in singers’ union following sexual assault guilty plea

By The Associated Press on December 21, 2023.

NEW YORK (AP) – Countertenor David Daniels is no longer a member of the union for singers following his guilty plea to a charge of sexual assault.

The 57-year-old and his husband, Scott Walters, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of an adult, a second-degree felony, in Houston’s Harris County District Court on Aug. 4. Their accuser was aspiring opera singer Sam Schultz.

They both were sentenced to eight years’ probation and required to register as sex offenders.

American Guild of Musical Artists spokesperson Alicia Cook said Wednesday that Daniels is no longer a member of the union.

Daniels was also fired as a University of Michigan professor and was removed by the San Francisco Opera from a production of Handel’s “Orlando.”

The guild this week released a letter of censure dated Nov. 20 in which Daniels was informed he was permanently barred from the guild.

“We strongly condemn your actions at the University of Michigan, specifically with regards to what appears to be a pattern of soliciting students for sex and offering them money, or both, in exchange for promised career advancement,” the letter from the guild’s disciplinary hearing panel read.

Citing the university’s investigatory report, the guild’s letter told Daniels his behavior was “antithetical to your responsibilities as both an AGMA member and as a member of a broader community of performing artists.”

Matt Hennessy, a Houston-based lawyer for Daniels, did not respond with a comment when contacted by AP.

Schultz said the move by the union against Daniels was “a step in the right direction,” but noted it took three years to take action.

“Their delay indicates that AGMA does not yet care about abuses within its industry,” Schultz said.

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