RPJ Client Samuel Schultz Obtains Guilty Plea from Opera Star David Daniels and Husband in Sexual Assault Case
We are pleased to report that on Friday, August 4, 2023, RPJ client and sexual assault complaining witness, Samuel Schultz, received some closure in connection with the criminal matter against his rapists, opera star David Daniels and his husband, Scott Walters, which was slated to begin trial that day in the Harris County Criminal Court in Houston, Texas. The case is groundbreaking and believed to be the first time that a same-sex rape by and of adults has been prosecuted in Houston, if not the State of Texas. Our client, Samuel Schultz, came forward in 2018 in publicly alleging that the defendants had drugged and raped him in 2010. Following Samuel’s public accusation, students of the University of Michigan came forward to allege similar sexual abuse and harassment by David Daniels, who, aside from being perhaps the world’s most famous countertenor, was a professor at the University at that time, though thereafter, following investigation, Daniels became the first tenured professor to be fired from the school in 60 years.
On Friday, moments before the groundbreaking trial was to begin, defendants Daniels and Walters agreed to plead guilty to sexually assaulting our client. Under the plea bargain, amongst other penalties, the defendants must register as sex offenders for their lifetimes, will remain on parole for eight years, and must refrain from any direct or indirect communications with our client. If parole is broken, the defendants will be sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison.
Samuel had an opportunity to present a highly personal statement behind closed doors in Court. In a public statement, Samuel reported, “I am glad that the defendants have acknowledged by their guilty pleas the truth of my traumatic experience, and that this portion of my nightmarish ordeal has finally concluded. I am glad that they are receiving punishments that the court deems to appropriately address the severity of their crimes.”
RPJ, under the diligent case leadership of Partner Ethan Krasnoo, is grateful to have been able to support and advise Samuel in connection with the trial, which RPJ has undertaken with support from the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We salute Samuel for his bravery in coming forward and his tenacity through the arduous legal process. We are pleased that the matter has been brought to this conclusion after 13 long years, and may inspire others to come forward for justice.