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U.S. v. Stephen Shipps: Docket 20-CR-20517

In an effort to assist those individuals who have been affected by this case, this webpage has been developed to provide court and case related information.  This does not replace written notification to those identified as victims of the charged offenses, it simply provides an additional resource from which to obtain information. 

PLEASE NOTE:  United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan is open to the public and resuming in-person court hearings.   Please note however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an extreme backlog in case events which may result in adjournments of scheduled hearing dates.   If you plan on attending a scheduled hearing, please contact Sandy Palazzolo at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway at 313-226-9753.   You may also check the United States District Court's Webpage for hearings which may take place via the internet.   Please access  www.mied.uscourts.gov. 

For questions, information, or assistance, you may contact Sandy Palazzolo, Victim Witness Coordinator at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, Victim Witness Specialist at 313-226-9753.


11/16/2021 - Defendant Stephen Shipps entered a plea of guilty in United States District Court before the Honorable Denise Page Hood. 

A tentative Sentencing Hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.   The court has indicated that this hearing will take place in person in the courtroom of the Honorable Denise Page Hood, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 709, Detroit, MI 48226.   Seating is limited due to COVID restrictions as set forth in the Courthouse Rules of Conduct.   Those Rules of Conduct can be found on the US District Court's webpage identified above. 

Individuals who wish to attend the hearing must call Sandy Palazzolo, 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, 313-226-9753 for more information.   You may also contact them if you have questions or need further assistance. 


10/12/2021 - The Honorable Denise Page Hood scheduled a Tentative Plea Hearing date for November 16, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.   The court has indicated that this hearing will take place in person in the courtroom of the Honorable Denise Page Hood, 231 W. Lafayette, Courtroom 709, Detroit, MI 48226.   Seating is limited due to COVID restrictions as set forth in the Courthouse Rules of Conduct.   Those Rules of Conduct can be found on the US District Court's webpage identified above. 

Individuals who wish to attend the hearing must call Sandy Palazzolo, 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway, 313-226-9753 for more information.   You may also contact them if you have questions or need further assistance. 

The Pretrial Conference originally scheduled for October 25, 2021, has been CANCELLED.


08/30/2021 - The Honorable Denise Page Hood rescheduled the Pretrial Conference and Tentative Trial dates.   The new dates are as follows:   Pretrial Conference is scheduled for October 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m., Plea Cutoff is scheduled for October 25, 2021, and a Tentative Trial date has been scheduled for November 23, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

At this time it is undetermined if the Pretrial Conference will proceed via Zoom Meeting or in person in the Theodore J. Levin United States District Courthouse.   Please use the link identified above to access the on-line connection for the hearings.   Updates, as they become available, will be posted to this webpage.

For those who wish to view or attend the hearing(s) or have questions, please contact Sandy Palazzolo at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway at 313-226-9753.


05/17/2021 - The Honorable Denise Page Hood has signed a Stipulation and Order Finding Excludable Delay as to Stephen Shipps.   A Status Hearing has been scheduled for August 30, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. and a Tentative Trial date for September 21, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.  At this time it is undetermined if the Status Hearing will proceed via Zoom Meeting or in person in the Theodore J. Levin United States District Courthouse.

Updates, as they become available, will be posted to this webpage.

For those who wish to view or attend the hearing(s) or have questions, please contact Sandy Palazzolo at 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway at 313-226-9753.


03/02/2021 - The Honorable Denise Page Hood has scheduled a Status Hearing for May 17, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. and a Tentative Trial date for June 15, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.  At this time it is undetermined if the Status Hearing will proceed via Zoom Meeting or in person in the Theodore J. Levin United States District Courthouse. 

Updates will be posted to this webpage. 

For those who wish to view or attend the hearing(s) or have questions, please contact Sandy Palazzolo, 313-226-9633 or Sherri Holloway at 313-226-9753. 


10/29/2020 – On October 28,2020  a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Washtenaw County resident Stephen Shipps with 2 counts of Transportation Of A Minor To Engage In Sexual Activity.  Defendant Shipps appeared in United States District Court on October 29, 2020 before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen.   Defendant Shipps was released on a $10,000.00 unsecured bond with conditions. 

The Completion of the Arraignment is currently scheduled for Monday, November 2, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.   This hearing will take place over the internet via Zoom. 

From 1989 to 2019, Shipps was employed by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance as a violin professor. Shipps was also the director of the Strings Preparatory Program, which offered instruction to young musicians ranging from elementary school through high school-age. Shipps retired from the University of Michigan in February 2019.  In addition, Shipps 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.  He also taught students at summer music programs in the Czech Republic, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is leading the ongoing investigation of Stephen Shipps.  HSI requests and encourages anyone that has relevant information about or may be a victim of Mr. Shipps’s alleged crimes to call the HSI Tipline at (866) DHS-2-ICE, that’s (866) 347-2423, or email investigators and victim assistance personnel at HSI-Shipps-Investigation@ice.dhs.gov.

Please note that an indictment is only an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

No further court hearing dates have been scheduled at this time.  Updates, to include scheduled court hearings, will be posted to this website as soon as they become available.

To view a copy of the Indictment, please click here

 To access a copy of the Press Release, please here

Updated November 16, 2021

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