The New York Post has today reported a police complaint has been filed in Illinois, USA, alleging legendary Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine maintained an ongoing sexual relationship, in the 1980s, with a 15 year old boy.
It’s alleged the abuse began in 1985 whilst Levine, now 74, was Guest Conductor at the Ravina Music Festival, in Chicago.
“I began seeing a 41-year-old man when I was 15, without really understanding I was really seeing him,” it’s understood the alleged victim, now 48, has said in a written statement to police.
“It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide … I felt alone and afraid. He was trying to seduce me. I couldn’t see this. Now I can,” the man has said.
It’s understood, the alleged victim’s claims to the Lake Forest police in 2016 came nine years after the statute of limitations in Illinois had expired.
The age of consent in the state is 17.
Police have indicated that the case is under review anyway – but no charges have been brought at this stage, the NY Post has said.
Levine served as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera from 1976 until April 2016 – conducting more than 2500 performances.
He currently serves as the New York Opera House’s Music Director Emeritus.
In addition, throughout his five decade conducting career he served leadership positions with Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony.
“We are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine,” The Metropolitan Opera has said in a statement via social media.
“We are working on an investigation w outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action.”
We are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine. We are working on an investigation w outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action.
— Metropolitan Opera (@MetOpera) December 3, 2017
Presumption of innocence applies.