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Renowned Conductor Charles Dutoit Faces Six New Allegations of Sexual Assault Including Rape

Renowned Conductor Charles Dutoit Faces Six New Allegations of Sexual Assault Including Rape
From TIME - January 11, 2018

(SAN FRANCISCO)Six more women have stepped forward to accuse prominent conductor Charles Dutoit of sexually assaulting them in the United States, France and Canada, including a musician who says the maestro raped her in 1988.

The women said they were compelled to speak out after The Associated Press published a story Dec. 21 detailing accusations from three singers and a musician who said Dutoit forcibly restrained them, groped them and kissed them without permission.

The 81-year-old Grammy-winning conductor emphatically denied the accusations, but eight major orchestras immediately distanced themselves from him and two launched their own investigations.

The new accusers said they were angered by his initial denial and wanted to show the scope of Dutoits sexual misconduct during his globe-trotting career. They said the Swiss-born conductor attacked them in Paris, Montreal and the United States over a four-decade period, starting in the late 1970s.

Dutoit had been principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. Hours after the AP sent Dutoit and the Royal Philharmonic detailed summaries of the fresh allegations, the orchestra announced Wednesday that he was leaving those posts.

Dutoit issued a statement saying he was sickened to be accused of the heinous crime of rape. I am shaken to the core by this bewildering and baseless charge. To this, I submit my categorical and complete denial, he said.

During a career leading the worlds top orchestras, Dutoit has held such notable positions as music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The woman who accused the conductor of raping her said the assault occurred when she was working with him at an orchestra on the East Coast of the U.S in early 1988. The AP does not publish the names of people who say they are victims of sexual assault without their permission so, to protect her identity, the AP also is not disclosing the instrument she plays, her orchestra or the city where she said she was attacked.

The musician said she was 28 and auditioning for an orchestra where Dutoit was guest-conducting. One night, she rode the elevator up with him to their shared hotel floor, the woman said.

As soon as I got to my room, the phone rang. It was Maestro Dutoit, she said, adding that he told her his luggage was broken and asked for a tool used to fix musical instruments. She brought it to his room, where he quickly forced herself on her, she said.

He came closer to me and tried to kiss me, and held my head so strongly it ripped my earring out, said the musician, now in her 50s. He pinned my wrists to the wall and pushed me to the bed.

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