Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after finding 'credible evidence' of sexual abuse

The Lake County state's attorney's office in IL said in December it investigated a sexual abuse allegation of misconduct dating to the 1980s but concluded "no criminal charges can be brought" and cited multiple factors, including "the relevant age of consent in IL at the time of the alleged incidents".

After considering the findings of a thorough investigation conducted by outside counsel that lasted more than three months, the Metropolitan Opera has terminated its relationship with James Levine as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of its young artist program.

"The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met", the opera house said in a statement.

The Met says claims its management or board had covered up information of Levine's conduct were unsubstantiated.

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The New York Post first reported about a 2016 police report in IL that alleged that Levine abused a boy starting in 1985 when the purported victim was 15. An internal investigation included interviews with more than 70 people.

Levine was music director at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, from 1973 to 1993.

The Metropolitan Opera has fired its well-known music director and conductor, James Levine, after an investigation found that Levine had engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct.

Many of Levine's performances were televised by the Public Broadcasting Service, and singers rearranged their schedules to appear in his performances or even to audition for him. The man said Levine would lay naked with him and touched his penis.

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Levine had routinely denied the allegations.

The alleged victim told Lake Forest police the sexual abuse started in 1985 when he was 15-years-old and Levine was in his early 40's.

The accusers said Levine had sexually abused them when they were teenagers. He said that at one point Levine had the group don blindfolds and masturbate partners they could not see.

Other musicians who have quit or lost positions over alleged abuse include hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Charles Dutoit, until recently the principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

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