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Opera singer David Daniels could face attempted solicitation charge for Grindr messages

August 28, 2018

Nearly a week after a Rice University graduate accused opera singer David Daniels of rape stemming from a 2010 incident in Houston, a police department in Michigan has recommended that the performer be charged with attempted solicitation in a separate case.

The new allegation represents the second known police complaint brought against the famed countertenor with stage credits at the Metropolitan Opera and the Houston Grand Opera.

The University of Michigan Police Department received the initial report and referred the matter to detectives at the nearby Pittsfield Police Department on Aug. 3, said Matt Harshberger, the township’s police chief.

Harshberger told the Houston Chronicle that the alleged victim lives in the Pittsfield Charter Township, about five miles south of Ann Arbor.

Daniels is a tenured professor of music at the University of Michigan and is on a leave of absence for the fall semester, said Kim Broekhuizen, a spokeswoman at the Ann Arbor school. She said the school is aware of the allegations in Houston and in the Pittsfields township.

Pittsfield detectives spoke to the alleged victim on Aug. 21, Harshberger said, adding that Daniels failed to return repeated calls by investigators about the matter.

A representative for Daniels declined to comment when reached by phone Tuesday.

The singer and the alleged victim exchanged messages on the gay dating app known as Grindr in February 2017, Harshberger said. He declined to elaborate on the nature of the messages other than to say Daniels is accused of asking for a sex act.

The police chief expects the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to make its decision on whether to charge Daniels within a week. A spokesman for the attorney’s office declined to comment on the case.

Police at the University of Michigan forwarded the new allegations of a sexual assault in Houston in 2010 to the Houston Police Department in July. The victim last week identified himself to the Chronicle as opera singer and Rice University graduate Samuel Schultz.

In an interview last week, Schultz accused Daniels and his then-boyfriend, Scott Walters, of drugging and raping him at a Midtown apartment after a Houston Grand Opera performance of “Xerxes” in 2010. Houston police confirmed last week they were investigating the allegations, though no charges or arrests have been made.

Daniels and Walters both denied the allegations when reached by the New York Daily News.

Perryn Leech, managing director of the Houston Grand Opera, has said that his organization would cooperate with the ongoing police investigation.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

@nkhensley

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