No Illinois charges for Levine; conductor says abuse allegations are “unfounded”

Sun Dec 10, 2017 at 3:45 pm
James Levine at 27 rehearsing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1971 in his Ravinia Festival debut. File photo: Ravinia Festival

James Levine at 27 rehearsing the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1971 in his Ravinia Festival debut. File photo: Ravinia Festival

The Lake County, Illinois state’s attorney office said Friday that no charges would be filed against conductor James Levine over sexual abuse allegations lodged last year by an Illinois man stemming from Levine’s tenure as music director of the Ravinia Festival.

The one-page statement said that due to the fact that the alleged victim was at the Illinois law of consent at the time of the events—then 16, and now 17 in most cases–there would be no point to filing charges now.

“At the conclusion of the investigation, considering the specific conduct disclosed by the complainant, the age of the complainant at the time, all of the evidence in the case, and the applicable law … it is our decision that no criminal charges can be brought,” the statement said.

Meanwhile the celebrated music director of the Metropolitan Opera made his first public response to the charges, which broke last Saturday in a New York Post story and quickly spread online with four victims coming forward in the past week to say that Levine had molested them when they were teens and/or music students decades ago.

“As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded,” Levine said in a written statement released to the New York Times late Thursday. “As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor.”

All four of the victims who have come forward reiterated their accounts and said that Levine is lying.

The Ravinia Festival cut all ties with the celebrated conductor last week and the Met has suspended Levine pending the results of an investigation.


One Response to “No Illinois charges for Levine; conductor says abuse allegations are “unfounded””

  1. Posted Dec 14, 2017 at 11:04 am by Ashley Michaels

    To anyone who hasn’t seen it yet:

    For those wishing to sign a petition asking the Metropolitan Opera to reinstate James Levine until or unless these allegations go to court, here is the link: https://www.change.org/p/metropolitan-opera-reinstate-james-levine-at-the-metropolitan-opera

    Kind regards,
    Ashley

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