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Posted on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 6:04 a.m.

Man charged with sexually assaulting EMU student is a suspect in recent home invasions, police say

By Amalie Nash

A man crawled through the front window of a home on a busy street across from Eastern Michigan University’s campus mid-morning on Monday, presumably looking for items to steal.

Once inside, police say, he discovered a student sleeping and decided to sexually assault her at knifepoint.

After assaulting the woman, the intruder fled, and she called 911.

Officers, already on alert due to a rash of home invasions in the area over the last two weeks - quickly descended on the streets surrounding the Ypsilanti campus. A suspect was soon arrested.

Jermaine Ulysses Shropshire, 30, is facing charges of first-degree criminal sexual assault, first-degree home invasion and felonious assault with a knife. In addition to the sexual assault on West Cross Street, Shropshire is accused of attempting to break into a home on North Adams Street on the same day.

Thumbnail image for SHROPSHIRE-JERMAIN-ULYSSES.jpg

Jermain Ulysses Shropshire

Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker said Shropshire also is a suspect in several of the other recent residential burglaries - but not all of the cases.

“It was really great work that they were able to catch him so fast,” Walker said. “We’re putting all the pieces of the investigation together now.”

Shropshire, who was arraigned Wednesday and jailed without bond, has a criminal history in Washtenaw County that includes convictions for stealing from cars, stealing and possessing financial transaction devices and receiving and concealing stolen property, records show. He was discharged from probation in February, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Shropshire had been staying with friends in the Ypsilanti area recently, Walker said.

Walker said there’s no evidence Shropshire was stalking or targeting the 22-year-old EMU student. “We believe he was intending to break into the home and found her inside,” she said.

About 90 minutes before the sexual assault, Shropshire is accused of attempting to break into a home in the 600 block of North Adams. A resident told police the man was scared away when she confronted him.

Police were unable to provide the exact number of burglaries in the campus area, but said the crimes have been occurring for two to three weeks. In most cases, entry has been gained through unlocked windows or by pushing windows open.

The most recent burglary occurred at 1 a.m. Tuesday, police incident logs show. A resident in the 400 block of Emmet Street responded to a knock at the front door and also heard the bedroom screen ripping, the log said. The resident went to the bedroom and saw a laptop being pulled out of the window.

Walker said police have a suspect in that case and are following leads in the other recent break-ins.

EMU officials sent an alert to the campus community Tuesday, urging students who live in off-campus housing to take precautions. EMU Police Chief Greg O’Dell said campus officers are assisting in the investigation.

Walker urged residents to keep their doors and windows locked.

“We don’t want people to panic, but we want people to be safe,” Walker said. “We want people to be aware of their surroundings and look out for suspicious activity. Here you have someone who went through a bedroom window directly across from the EMU campus at 10:30 in the morning. It was pretty brazen.”

Shropshire will appear for a preliminary hearing June 29.

Amalie Nash is the news director at You can reach her at or at 734-623-2521.



Fri, Jun 18, 2010 : 9:10 a.m.

@ YpsiLivin, The answer to your question, as I stated previously. "So thanks to the low priority that property crimes receive we have a habitual offender that has now escalated and sexually victimized a young woman." He was proabaly released early to probation to save money and free up space in the jails.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 9:12 p.m.

Mick52, According to OTIS, the suspect has convictions for: Larceny from a motor vehicle (x2) Financial Transaction Device possession (x1) Financial Transaction Device Stealing/Retaining w/o Consent (x1) Stolen Property R/C $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 (x1) He was sentenced to 1 or 2 years, depending on the charge but it appears as though he served less than nine months. What happened to "truth in sentencing"?

Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 4:07 p.m.

If criminals in Ypsilanti were aware that Eastern Michigan University women were trained as incoming freshman to shoot firearms and were issued 9mm, it is a reasonable presumption that some percentage of these criminals would avoid trespassing upon the premises occupied by women of such a profile. Ask law enforcement. Criminals profile those victims whom they believe will offer the least resistance and would readily profile young women on a liberal college campus to be unarmed. 2 months ago I almost ran over a black male who walked right into the traffic on Washtenaw. He was walking rapidly toward the EMU campus, away from the Domino's pizza at the intersection of Washtenaw and Cross Street. When I slammed on my horn after hitting my brakes, he flashed a handgun. I called 911, with a description considering that he may have just robbed the Domino's. Last I saw he was in the EMU parking lot walking toward the old student center.

Rob Pollard

Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

Ummm, Chase...she was sleeping when he put a knife to her throat. Unless she slept with a death grip on a handgun that she can quick draw and fire from a sound sleep, it wouldn't have done her any good. P.S. Laura Dickinson was also asleep when she was smothered by Orange Taylor, in case you're thinking a CCW would have helped in the most infamous recent case in Ypsi.

Joe Citizen

Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 11:59 a.m.

Well I'm sure he either didn't do it or is real sorry so he should be given a 5th 6th 7th chance. Right? He should be offered a good deal in court right? I mean, he's probably sorry so he can pay a fine and be on probation.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 11:32 a.m.

Right CountyKate there is a habitual offender law in Michigan. Upon three felony convictions, one can get life imprisonment. I was going to suggest to Ms. Nash that if she can obtain criminal history info as she has here, to add if the convictions are for felonies or misdemeanors. Often, the habitual offender tag is added to charges, but dropped for plea bargaining purposes. Also many felonies are reduced to misdemeanors for pleas. I think this is becoming a problem, however the state (Governor) is looking to reduce Michigan's corrections budget, so....maybe too bad for the rest of us.

Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 10:18 a.m.

EMU Freshman orientation should require concealed weapons training for all incoming ladies and tuition subsidized 9mm for each gal that can hit the target from 20 ft. Campus and Ypsi crime rate would crash like a 401k, and all women would be addressed as "Ma'am"


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

So thanks to the low priority that property crimes receive we have a habitual offender that has now escalated and sexually victimized a young woman. Fantastic. Don't suppose any legislators/law enforcement cares to learn something from this? In the meantime, OUR takeaway is you must look out for your own safety. Assess your vulnerabilities and comfort zones. There's plenty of resources out there to help you prevent AND respond to crimes. I'd be happy to point you in the right direction. Please use them, sticking your head in the sand does nothing for you. Be safe out there.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 8:12 a.m.

BigMike, yeah, there's a "habitual offender" law. Seems to me this guy is a front-line candidate for it.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 6:39 a.m.

Do we have anything like "3 strikes and you're out" in Michigan? This guy should not be walking the streets.


Thu, Jun 17, 2010 : 6:04 a.m.

The story states: "Shropshire is accused of attempting to break into a home on South Adams Street on the same day" then later it states "About 90 minutes before the sexual assault, Shropshire is accused of attempting to break into a home in the 600 block of North Adams" Can this be clarified please. South or North Adams St?