Singer David Lewis leaves Opera Australia after child sexual abuse charges | Australia news

Distinguished tenor David Lewis has left Opera Australia after being charged with child sex offences involving a 14-year-old girl dating back to the 1990s.

The 58-year-old was charged in July with four counts of aggravated indecent assault of a victim under the age of 16 and two counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16, a NSW Police spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The alleged victim was a member of the children’s chorus in a performance, according to Sydney media reports.

Lewis, a longstanding Opera Australia member, is due to face Downing Centre local court on 5 December.

Opera Australia chief executive Rory Jeffes said the tenor was stood down in July after the company was made aware of the allegations. He took long service leave owing and then resigned in October.

“He has not participated in any company activity since July and he is no longer an employee of Opera Australia,” Jeffes said in a statement.

Lewis played the emperor in Opera Australia’s 2016 Sydney Harbour production of Turandot and earlier this year performed as Pedro in Two Weddings, One Bride.

Jeffes said the company had cooperated fully with police “and will continue to do so”.

The alleged incident was “deeply upsetting to everyone involved with Opera Australia”.

Jeffes said there was no record of assault allegations against Lewis being reported to the company.

Fairfax Media reported one employee as saying “Opera Australia is like the Catholic church in miniature”.

Jeffes said that statement was “indefensible, disingenuous and frankly outrageous”.

“If any member of the Opera Australia community has concerns or knowledge of any activities which could be deemed inappropriate they are urged to speak with their manager, the human resources manager or myself,” he said.

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