James Levine, who spent decades as music director of the Ravinia Festival and the Metropolitan Opera, is being investigated by authorities in Lake County following a man's report that the famous conductor molested him starting when he was 15.
But Levine is perhaps better known for his 40 years as music director of the Metropolitan Opera in NY.
Accusations from a unnamed man, printed in The New York Times and New York Post, quoted a 2016 IL police report as saying the alleged abuse began in 1985, when the alleged victim was 15-years-old.
The statute of limitations for a potential sex crime in IL expired nine years before the alleged victim came forward against Levine in 2016, reports the Post.
The Post said the opera company's general manager was informed of the allegations in 2016.
The Times said the Met had been aware of the report since a year ago. "Now I can", the alleged victim, now 48, said in a written statement to the police department.
The Metropolitan Opera announced December 2-hours after details of the police report had been made public-that the house would begin an investigation with outside resources into the alleged events.
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The abuse intensified over time as Levine allegedly touched himself and the minor sexually "hundreds of times".
"At the time, [Levine] said that the charges were completely false, and we didn't hear anything further from the police", says Gelb.
According to the report, the alleged victim filed a molestation complaint at the Lake Forest police department.
"It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide ..." He was trying to seduce me. "Now I can", the Post quoted him as telling police.
After a successful last-minute substitute podium debut at Ravinia in 1971 conducting Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony, Levine was named music director of the Highland Park music festival two years later. I couldn't see this. Levine is said to have taken an interest in the victim, showering him with attention, gifts, and $50,000 in cash as the years progressed. Levine, it was said, had had a relationship with a boy whose parents had gone to the Met board, threatening to expose the situation.
The accusations against Levine, among the most prominent classical music conductors in the world, are the latest in a stream of sexual misconduct charges involving high-profile men in entertainment and the media that have rocked the nation since accusations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein were reported in October.
Levine has struggled with health problems including Parkinson's disease in recent years but is scheduled to conduct several productions this season.