The Metropolitan Opera in New York announced Saturday that it will investigate allegations that famed conductor James Levine, who also led the Boston Symphony Orchestra, molested an Illinois teenager decades ago.
“We are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine,” the opera said on Twitter. “We are working on an investigation w[ith] outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action.”
The statement was made just hours after the New York Post reported that Levine had allegedly molested the boy beginning when he was just 15 years old, as part of “sexual abuse that lasted for years and led the alleged victim to the brink of suicide.”
The New York Times reported Saturday night that Met officials had been aware of the allegations since last year but said Levine had denied the accusations.
The opera did not immediately respond to requests from the Globe seeking comment Saturday night.
The alleged victim, who is now 48 and was not named by The Post, reported the sexual abuse to the Lake Forest, Ill., Police Department in October 2016, according to a police report obtained by The Post.
Attempts by the Globe to obtain the report Saturday night were not successful. Attempts to reach Levine through his manager were not immediately successful.
The alleged abuse by Levine, now 74 and director emeritus of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, began in 1985 while Levine was guest conductor at the Ravinia Festival near Chicago, the Post reported.
The alleged victim told police that Levine first fondled his genitals when he was around 16 years old, at a luxury hotel 10 miles from the music festival, the newspaper reported. That hotel was the scene of “ ‘hundreds of incidents’ over the years,” the report said, according to The Post.
The statute of limitations for a potential sex crime involving a minor in Illinois, where the age of consent is 17 years old, expired nine years before the alleged victim came forward in 2016, according to The Post.
Police investigated the matter and turned their findings over to the Lake County state’s attorney, the Post said.
“A State’s Attorney spokeswoman told The Post Friday the case is still under review and no charges have been brought,” the newspaper said.
Attempts by the Globe to reach the office of the Lake County state’s attorney were not successful Saturday evening.Jacob Carozza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.