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Former University of Michigan Violin Professor Arrested

Former University of Michigan School of Music Violin Professor, Stephen Shipps has been arrested on charges of transporting a minor over state lines and engaging in sexual activity

Announced by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, the alleged crimes occurred in 2002. Shipps could face up to 15 years in Federal prison if he is convicted.

According to the indictment, Shipps "knowingly transported a young girl, who was under 18 years old, across state lines, and Shipps intended to engage in sexual activity with her.”

Matthew Schneider, United States Attorney, suggested more charges may be brought against Shipps from other alleged victims.

Anyone with additional information about alleged crimes committed by Shipps is asked to call a tip line set up by the Department of Homeland Security at 866-347-2423.

Tips can also be emailed to: [email protected].



In 2019, the then 65-year-old retired from University of Michigan School of Music, just days after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were leveled at him by a number of past students.

Shipps held a teaching position at the University since September 1989 including serving as the School of Music’s Chair of Strings and as Faculty Director of the Strings Preparatory Academy pre-college program.

Shipps also previously 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, federal authorities have today said. He also taught students at summer music programs in the United States, Czech Republic, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“Too little, 40 years too late. UMich obviously did not ask or did not care about his sudden dismissal from the North Carolina School of the Arts, and allowed serious abuse to continue,” violinist Lara St. John, an outspoken victim of rape by her teacher, Jascha Brodsky, at the Curtis Institute as a 14-year-old student, has today told The Violin Channel. 

It took an intrepid student reporter to investigate and write the article leading to Shipps' removal in 2018, following leads and listening to women that had been ignored for years. Both of these complicit schools, and the Meadowmount summer school, should commission a completely transparent external investigation immediately,” she added. 

Shipps has been released on $10,000 unsecured bond and will be submitted to GPS monitoring.

Presumption of innocence applies.




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