Violin professor faces six years in plea dealNews
The University of Michigan violin professor Stephen Shipps entered a guilty plea yesterday for transporting a 16 year-old girl across state lines for sex. In a deal with prosecutors, a second charge involving the same victim was dropped.
Under the deal Shipps, 68, still faces up to six years behind bars, reduced from a possible 15 years. He will be sentenced in February.
Shipps, regarded as one of the leading US violin teachers outside New York, was a professor at Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance from 1989 until his suspension after repeated complaints in 2019.
The prosecutor said: ‘Shipps used his position of trust to sexually exploit a child. I commend the brave young woman who stepped forward and exposed Shipps’s abuse. 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.’
It should be 15 years
When laws and punishments are continually watered down/reduced and society doesn’t benefit you’ve got to ask what’s really going on!!
This sentence reduction speaks volumes about the VALUE of the victim. And the seriousness of the crime!
Perhaps he will do what Siegfried Mauser did and flee to Austria………….
Whatever he decides to do it will be because he can!! He probably already knows what I know; there are no really serious consequences for crime in the western world.
Six years is a lot for a man of his age. He will also be on the sex offender registry which is a very severe punishment.
When is the University of Michigan going to be investigated more thoroughly? They’ve turned a blind eye forever for this kind of behavior. Sources tell me this was similar to Levine’s misdeeds, a widely open secret. But the story doesn’t end with Shipps. And, here’s a hint to the ridiculously overly “woke” community of students that seem to have lost sense with reality — it’s not about Bright Sheng. Stop wasting your time with bullshit and look at the monsters among you that are “hiding” in plain sight, before they retire.
Maybe as they age, some of the students (and faculty) who profited from the experience from the vampires on faculty will look back on their experiences a bit differently. Isn’t that a huge part of the problem? You have a bunch of students who knew he was doing stuff like this, but most didn’t bother to report it, because they feared for their career? Even worse, the University covered up what they did know. Not very many profiles in courage. Too much desperation in the field. It’s hard to get a post, or even a graduate fellowship at a good school.
It’s also hard to see the truth, even when it’s right in front of you.
Levine didn’t break any laws. He was thoroughly investigated and cleared.
Levine wasn’t cleared of any wrongdoing at all; he only got settlement money because his lawyer(s) zoomed in on a technicality: the lack of a morals clause in his contract, which prevents the type of lewd behavior he frequently engaged in during his time at the Met. That doesn’t make him innocent at all; in fact, it underscores his guilt because it essentially says, “I was able to get away with treating other people this way because my contract didn’t say that I couldn’t!”
All of what was just said here is right on. But I think that the students trying to change things in the Bright Sheng matter have taken too much public scathing by the classical music and establishment press. Whether or not they got carried away with campus wokeness is hardly the point. The real point has been obscured, actually: people go to music schools to learn how to play and compose music. It’s supposed to be an educational experience, not a place for pedophiles to do whatever the hell they want and coerce staff into covering for them by giving them promotions and kickbacks. The amorality of the faculty of that particular school is a giant story just waiting to be told. It could fill a page turner of a muckracking book of the highest order, easily. It’s art mixed with madness mixed with conscienceless careerism mixed with a broken business model that takes all the power out of the hands of people who view music as art. The Sheng scandal pointed out the very thing people have been terrified to shine a light on: the students really do have no power at that school. Look, the guy sipped mocha frappes and ate biscotti at staff meetings while his main boss was out pillaging students and faculty sexually, emotionally, and career-wise. That’s the real issue: the lies and silence. I feel that the “woke mob” will be vindicated eventually, when discussions really do start later this year about how to reform the absolutely atrocious behavior of the malignant narcissists that have run things up there for decades. Shipps was an abomination—we know that. But he also effectively ran that school. That’s horrifying in itself. Careers were made, and some were strangled in the cradle. Right on to anyone who sees the school itself as the main problem and Shipps as a particularly nasty symptom of the disease.
The point that I was trying to make was this: there are still contemporaries of Shipps on the payroll that need to be brought to justice, and the clock is ticking. Bright Sheng, to the best of my knowledge, isn’t one of them. If “sipped mocha frappes and ate biscotti at staff meetings” is a crime, then all the faculty are guilty. If you want to engage in grievance politics, you need to at least be able to prioritize, because you already have a long list of outrage.
Point taken. It’s true that Sheng is hardly the worst offender on staff, and the students did get carried away. When he did earlier this year was no crime against humanity. However, the apparent outrage opens up a dialogue. It could be a way in the door. I say “could” because we don’t know how the students will handle the actual confrontation/ town hall later this year. One might say, “well, they’ll handle it badly.” But it hasn’t happened yet so we just don’t know. What I meant by the mocha frappe comment is that, essentially, he turned a blind eye to all the abusive behavior going on around him and continued to draw a decent salary. If the students more or less knew what was going on with Shipps in his private life, the faculty would have to have known. I mean that’s a one hundred percent chance. It’s the ethics of the situation that were completely screwed. A doctor has to say “I take a pledge to do no harm,” and the state medical boards will investigate complaints—they have to. Educators are not required to make such a pledge. That’s actually problematic in cases like these. Investigations should be launched against the bad actors at UM. They are in a position of trust, which Shipps violated at will. Who knows what the others did? It could have been just as bad, or worse. Is Sheng the worst of them? Nowhere close. But they do have a tendency to hide out. The bad apples sit on committees quietly, thinking about harm, lies, and cover-up ops to satisfy their own frustrated career ambitions, and Shipps gave them ample opportunities to do so. None of this was about education, or music, even. So the school betrayed the educational mission it should have had a long time ago. Luckily the world is changing. If students are able to openly question Sheng about something so minor, just think about what they might be able to do with the main offenders. Those people must be quaking in their boots right now, as they know what they’ve been involved with. They are the quiet abusers, who get off on the small amount of power they have in their little insular fiefdom, don’t care about educating students, and in some ways want to see them suffer, or make them suffer. The infrastructure of the school is what needs to change. The issue is an on-campus one. We have to start considering that Sheng’s reputation as a composer or the fact that he might be an all-around good guy is not the actual issue. It’s a question about his behavior in class. On a close perusal of the blackface article, there are indications that he was out of touch with, and did not seem to care at all about, his duties as a professor at UM. This is probably true from what I know of the school. He’s a great composer, sure, but he’s also been tasked with educating students, not kowtowing to and working closely with a power structure that dehumanizes them.
You’ve got an overly idealistic picture of the interest of state medical boards in policing wrongdoing. They are like bar associations, and will usually act only when they feel they have no other choice.
Six years is less that the ballet dancer Yat-Sen Chang got. And he only gave creepy massages.
If convicted, the question now is, will he be sent to a state prison or a white-collar facility? Child abusers don’t tend to have many allies in the former variety.
It’s known as “jail justice.” A close cousin to street justice.
It’s heartening, then, to know they’ll at least be SOME justice. Six years is manifestly inadequate.
Instead of yelling at institutions do something about the appalling leniency of criminal sentencing which some Lefty do-gooders think represent a more ‘civilizing’ influence on societies!!
That’s why I’m not opposed to capital punishment; at least you know they’re not going to be given bail to get back them back out on the streets.
Well, prison violence puts the U.S. on a par with banana republics and police states. Another symptom of our broken criminal justice system.
Sixteen is not a child.
Physically, no. Legally, yes.
Also, age of consent is a thing, but so is abuse of a position of authority.
Not that you didn’t already know all about this (or care much). You sound like someone who has done some research. This response is mostly for other people.
https://okeefelaw.net/sex-crimes/age-consent-michigan/ (approx. 10 seconds of the google)
It depends on what state you are in Ruby. You have to read up on all the sex laws before you move from state to state here. There should be an ap you can put on your phone.
It depends on the 16-year-old.
They had to go to Ohio?
More likely that they were already going there for some violin-related activity, and a plan was hatched to include some extra-curricular activities.
Might have been several such occasions, but this was one where the prosecutor thought they had the evidence to get a conviction.
The linked article says it was New York…