The perpetrator of the sexual assault of an Eastman student last September admitted to the crime, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday.
Parolee Michael Sheppard, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree aggravated sexual abuse, a felony, for attacking the 20-year-old student in an Eastman annex practice room on Sep. 15, as reported by the Democrat & Chronicle.
The student will not be made to testify at the trial to prevent her from reliving the trauma, Elizabeth Buckley, chief of the office’s Sex Crimes Bureau, said in a release.
Sheppard was on parole for first-degree identity theft, and had been in prison until April 2018 serving a sentence of over five years. In 2006, he was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
In response to the assault, Eastman added security measures last month, placing new swipe access points around the school.
Sheppard will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 12 by County Court Judge John L. DeMarco.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley thanked the student in a tweet for coming forward “so Sheppard can no longer hurt anyone else.”