Violinist Stephen Shipps Pleads Guilty to Sexual Coercion Charges

The former University of Michigan violin professor pleaded guilty to transporting an underage girl across states lines for sexual relations

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Shipps, now aged 68, previously held a teaching position at the University of Michigan since 1989 — and served as Faculty Director of the University's Strings Preparatory Academy pre-college program.

According to the Associated Press, Shipps was indicted in 2020 on charges of “coercion of enticement of a minor female.”

As reported by multiple sources, on November 16, Shipps pleaded guilty to transporting a girl under the age of 18 across state lines — on multiple occasions between February and July of 2002 — with the intention of having sexual relations with her.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit said that upon sentencing, he will face up to 15-years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 17, 2022.

The indictment and arrest came two years after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were leveled at him by a number of past students.

The accusations, published in the Michigan Daily campus newspaper in December 2018, included reports by numerous female students of alleged unwelcome touching, sexual assault, and ongoing sexual relations with teenage students.

Ships retired from the University of Michigan in March 2019, after originally being put on paid leave by the administration. 

He has also served on the faculties of Indiana University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Nebraska–Omaha, and the Banff Centre in Canada.