After pleading guilty transporting a girl across state lines for sex, a former University of Michigan violin professor was sentenced to five-years in prison
Federal prosecutors stated that the federal judge who sentenced Stephen Shipps (69) on Thursday also ordered him to pay $120,000 in restitution for his victim. Shipps made an apology, and his lawyer asked for no imprisonment time.
Shipps pleaded guilty to the November charge of transporting a girl over state lines with intent to engage sexual conduct. According to the charges, Shipps was accused of transporting a girl across state borders multiple times between February 2002 and July 2002 in the hope of having sex.
According to court documents, the girl was born in 1985.
Shipps was indicted in October 2020, and he was arrested in Ann Arbor. This arrest came two years after the university put the long-serving professor on paid leave. Former students had accused him of sexual misconduct during his time as a teacher in Nebraska and North Carolina in the 1970s and 80s.
James C. Harris III, acting special agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Detroit, stated that Shipps’ sentence will send a strong message to other trusting individuals that you can be held responsible for preying on the vulnerable.
The University of Michigan has been subject to intense scrutiny regarding its protection against sexual misconduct. In 2020, hundreds of men claimed they were sexually assaulted and abused by late Robert Anderson . Anderson was a campus physician for almost 40 years. In 2008, he died. The school announced a $490million settlement with Anderson.
From 1989 to his retirement in 2019, Shipps was a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Shipps also directed a preparatory music program for children.
Federal authorities stated that Shipps was also on the faculties of Indiana University and the North Carolina School of the Arts.