A former University of Michigan violin professor has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to transporting a girl across state lines for sex.
A federal judge who sentenced Stephen Shipps, 69, also ordered the Ann Arbor man on Thursday to pay his victim $120,000 in restitution, federal prosecutors said. Shipps issued an apology and his attorney had not requested any jail time.
Shipps pleaded guilty in November to one count of transporting a girl across state lines with intent to engage in sexual conduct. The charges allege he took the girl across state lines on several occasions between February and July 2002 with the intention of having sex with her.
The girl was born in 1985, according to court documents.
Shipps’ October 2020 indictment and arrest in Ann Arbor came two years after the university placed the longtime professor on paid leave after former students accused him of sexual misconduct while he taught them in the 1970s and 1980s in Nebraska and North Carolina.
James C. Harris, III, acting special agent for Homeland Security Investigations in Detroit, said he hopes Shipps’ sentencing “sends a powerful message to others in positions of trust that if you go after the vulnerable people, you will be held accountable for your Actions.”
The University of Michigan has come under scrutiny for how it protects people on campus from sexual misconduct. The school has been rocked by allegations that began to surface publicly in 2020 from hundreds of men who said they were sexually assaulted by the late Robert Anderson, who served as a campus doctor for nearly 40 years. He died in 2008. In January, the school announced a $490 million settlement with Anderson’s accusers.
Shipps taught at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance from 1989 until his retirement in 2019. He also ran a preparatory program that provided musical education for children.
Shipps also served on the faculties of Indiana University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Banff Center in Canada, federal authorities said.