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Here's what you need to know about David Daniels, UM professor and opera singer accused of rape

The University of Michigan Union
Wikimedia Commons
University of Michigan student union

A University of Michigan professor and his husband were arrested in January on charges of sexual assault. Professor David Daniels is accused of drugging and raping a man in 2010, as well as soliciting sex from students.

Now, U of M is being criticized for keeping Daniels on its payroll, although he has been on administrative leave since August 2018.

Here's what you need to know about the latest sexual assault case to affect a Michigan university.

Listen below to hear Stateside's conversation with MLive reporter Gus Burns, who has been reporting on Daniels' case and the accusations against him. 

Who is David Daniels?

Daniels, 52, is an internationally acclaimed opera star, described by NPR in 2013 as "one of the world's most celebrated countertenors." He received his masters degree from the University of Michigan, before making his professional debut in 1992. 

He married conductor Scott Walters in 2014.

David Daniels' mug shot
Credit Washtenaw County
David Daniels was arrested in January, along with his husband, on charges of sexual assault in the second degree.

Daniels returned to U of M in 2015 as a professor in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. The university placed him on leave in August 2018, after the accusations against him were made public.

What is he accused of?

Samuel Schultz claims that when he was a 23-year-old student at Rice University in Houston, Daniels and Walters drugged and raped him.

In July 2018, Schultz contacted the University of Michigan police department's special victims unit, which passed his complaint to the Houston Police Department. The accusations became public in August.

Two months later, a former student of Daniels named Andrew Lipian accused the singer of drugging and assaulting him in 2017, when Lipian was a 29-year-old graduate student at UM.

According to NPR:

On March 24, 2017, Lipian alleges, Daniels invited him over to his apartment to watch television, where he was served several drinks of bourbon. According to Lipian's account, when he tried to leave, saying he needed to return home to rest for a performance the following day, Daniels gave him what he said was a dose of Tylenol PM "but was actually the sleep medication Ambien." Daniels then allegedly removed Lipian's clothing and groped his genitals and face. A short time later, Lipian alleges, Daniels told him he would likely would receive a full fellowship for the entirety of his master's program.

And in March 2018, an anonymous UM student said Daniels offered to pay him for sex over Grindr, a dating and hookup app largely used by gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people. According to MLive, Pittsfield police investigated the matter, but found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. 

Daniels and Walters were arrested on Schultz's charges on January 29. They have repeatedly denied the allegations.

How is the University of Michigan responding?

The University of Michigan is not directly involved in the rape case against David Daniels, but did place him on administrative leave in August after Samuel Schultz's complaint was made public. 

However, the U of M was criticized this week when it was discovered Daniels is still on the university's payroll. According to the school's 2018 salary report, Daniels earns more than $181,000 per year.

University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen told MLive, “Daniels was placed on leave in the late summer, has no university duties and has been instructed not to come to campus or have any contact with students. The university will continue to examine his status.”

U of M is involved in one lawsuit: Andrew Lipian sued Daniels and the university in October. Lipian claims the university had knowledge of Daniels’ history of sexual harassment, and chose to ignore it.

Daniels filed a counterclaim in December, criticizing Lipian for “invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

University attorneys filed a motion with the  the U.S. District Court earlier this month seeking to delay depositions of five university employee witnesses, requesting that Lipian be required to give his deposition prior to defense witnesses, and asking the judge to issue sanctions against Lipian's attorney.

Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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