Former University of Michigan professor pled guilty to child exploitation following HSI Detroit investigation
DETRIOT – A former University of Michigan professor pled guilty Nov. 16 to charges of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity announced Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Detroit Special Agent in Charge Vance Callender and acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin of Eastern District of Michigan.
Stephen Shipps, 68, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a former violin professor and Director of the Strings Preparatory Program at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance pled guilty to one count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual relations.
The Strings Preparatory Program at the University of Michigan where Shipps previously taught provides training to pre-college musicians from elementary through high school to help students fulfil their highest artistic and intellectual potential. Shipps retired from the University of Michigan in February 2019.
Shipps also provided string instruction to students at various summer music programs in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Kingdom, in addition to the University of Michigan.
“Shipps used his position of trust to sexually exploit a child. Well-regarded music professors at prestigious universities with competitive music programs like the University of Michigan enjoy tremendous influence within the music community. These professors often have the ability to make or break careers. Stephen Shipps was an influential and highly sought after violin professor who had successfully launched many careers. I commend the brave young woman who stepped forward and exposed Shipps’s abuse,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Mohsin. “This case proves that the passage of time, no matter how long, will not deter us from bringing to justice those who prey on our most vulnerable.”
When sentenced, Shipps faces a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. The case was investigated by special agents from HSI Detroit with assistance from the University of Michigan Police Department.
HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.
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