Retired Mich. Violin Professor Charged With Sex Abuse

October 30, 2020

Stephen Shipps, a retired professor of music at the University of Michigan, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of transporting a minor across state lines over four months in 2002 with the intent to engage in sexual misconduct, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Thanks to the bravery of Shipps’ alleged victims and painstaking investigative work by [investigators], this disgraced professor is being held accountable for coercing vulnerable young women into sex, in some cases in the distant past,” Vance Callender, a federal agent, said in a news release. “For over 20 years, [Shipps] had close interactions with many young girls who were gifted musicians. Shipps met with these young girls both inside and outside of the state of Michigan. Our determination and commitment to seeking justice for victims has no time limit.” Shipps faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison if he's convicted on both counts.

The university is reportedly working with federal investigators, as the case is ongoing. Shipps, a violinist, retired from Michigan last year. The university suspended Shipps, with pay, in 2018, after former students accused him of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, according to MLive. Those alleged crimes happened in Nebraska and North Carolina. Shipps, who could not be reached for comment, was released on bond. Shipps worked at Michigan from 1989 onward. In addition to teaching college students, he directed the Strings Preparatory Program for elementary through high school students.

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