Met Opera Investigating Sexual Abuse Allegation Against Conductor James Levine

American conductor James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform Hector Berlioz's

James Levine, then-Boston Symphony Orchestra music director, conducts the symphony on its opening night performance at Tanglewood in Lenox., Massachusetts on July 7, 2006.

Longtime music director James Levine will be departing the Metropolitan Opera for health reasons.

The Met's announcement on Saturday night came after the New York Post reported on its website that Levine allegedly molested an Illinois teenager from the time he was 15 years old for several years beginning in the mid-1980s, according to a report filed with the Lake Forest, Illinois, Police Department in October 2016.

It's understood, the alleged victim's claims, to police in 2016, come nine years after the statute of limitations in IL have expired.

In recent decades Levine's storied career has been largely centered on the East Coast-primarily as music director of the Metropolitan Opera, with a more controversial, illness-ridden tenure leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Levine, 74, stepped down as music director of the Met in April 2016.

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Now, Gelb said, "we need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action".

"It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide ... We'll now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources". In his complaint, the victim also detailed how Levine masturbated in front of him and kissed his penis. He was trying to seduce me.

The younger man was not identified in either report, but The New York Times reported that it had interviewed the alleged victim on condition of anonymity and that he confirmed that he made the accusations in the police report. I couldn't see this.

Details of the police report were first reported Saturday on the website of the New York Post. At the time, he said, Levine said he wouldn't send him money anymore. Last year, he told police in IL that he'd had sexual contact with Levine when he was under the age of 18.

With long-silent victims of abuse now speaking out about sexual harassment and predatory behavior by powerful, high-profile men in Hollywood, Congress and the media, it was inevitable that stories would begin to appear about sexual misbehavior in the backstage classical music milieu where conductors wield great power with few consequences for unprofessional behavior.

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