Former UC Davis conductor accused of sexual assault

A former conductor of the University of California, Davis, Symphony Orchestra gave up his professor titles amid allegations he sexually assaulted a former student who now works at the university.

D. Kern Holoman, who retired in 2013, relinquished the titles of professor emeritus and distinguished professor on Monday after Danny Gray discussed the allegations with administrators and said he planned to write about them on his blog.

Gray alleged Holoman sexually assaulted him when he was a freshman in 1987, later raped him and made other romantic and sexual gestures over a period of years.

Holoman apologized but said he remembers their relationship differently.

"Our memories of that time differ markedly, but the remorse is very real. I continue to treasure memories of our long friendship and its focus on the beauties of art, literature and history," he said in a statement sent to Gray by his attorney, Steven Sabbadini.

Sabbadini said they were not commenting further. Losing the titles means Holoman can no longer teach or pursue research related to the University of California system.

Gray, now director of academic employment and labor relations at the university, said the national Me Too movement, which has people sharing stories about sexual misconduct, inspired him to come forward.

"These courageous people who have started this have opened up a space where victims can see possibly, maybe, what happened to me is not something that I need to be so ashamed of," Gray told The Associated Press.

He said he told the university about Holoman's behavior twice while he was in school and was told by an administrator that Holoman wouldn't be made a dean in the future.

Gray again brought his concerns to the university after Holoman was named dean of the College of Letters and Science in March 1995. Holoman stepped down from the role in April 1996.

University spokeswoman Dana Topousis did not immediately respond to an email about Gray's allegations. Chancellor Gary May sent a letter Monday to the UC Davis community outlining the university's anti-harassment policies and resources for victims.

"I have no doubt our own UC Davis community includes survivors and their abusers," May wrote.

The University of California system has a history of limited transparency and lax discipline in handling sexual misconduct claims. The president's office told the AP in March that a quarter of the more than 100 employees found to have violated sexual misconduct policies in a three-year window were faculty members.

Gray began working at UC Davis in 2014. He said he brought his allegations to administrators again earlier this year when Holoman was being considered for a teaching position, which did not go through.

Gray said the university has been "extremely supportive" since he brought the allegations to their attention this year after bungling the response in the past.

Holoman possessed a celebrity status on campus, said Gray, who played violin in the symphony. The two began having lunch together on campus, which progressed into an invite for lunch at Holoman's home, where Gray said the professor sexually assaulted him in a hot tub.

Their friendship continued at various points, and Holoman later raped him, Gray said.

"I regret that I lacked the moral clarity and courage to end all engagement with Holoman permanently once his predatory nature had revealed itself," Holoman wrote on his blog. "My failings aside, however, Holoman was still the predator, and I was still the victim."

This story has been updated.