Former Maryland Teacher and Coach Receives Sentence for Sexually Abusing Minors

A former history teacher and rowing coach at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md. was sentenced for the sexual abuse of minors. 

Kirkland Shipley, 48, was initially charged with sexual abuse of a secondary education student and sexual performance using a minor. According to court documents, he drove a student to his home, located in the Georgetown neighborhood of D.C., where he and the victim performed oral sex on each other. Shipley was 44-years-old at the time, while the victim was 17-years-old.

 In another incident, Shipley exchanged nude and explcit photos and videos with a former student athlete of his and took screenshots of this content. 

During the Sept. 9 sentencing, the prosecution read victim impact statements from students he coached, outlining Shipley’s abusive behaviors. Shipley’s former students expressed the emotional damage his actions gave them, including high levels of anxiety, eating disorders and depression. 

Notably, one victim referred to Shipley as a “talented manipulator” and a “cancer festering in the community.” 

For the past 20 years, Shipley has abused his position of power, taking advantage of impressionable teenage girls, the prosecutor said. 

In determining appropriate sentencing for Shipley, D.C.  Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan said  that the damage Shipley  has created “cannot be erased.”

As such, Judge Raffinan sentenced him to 36-months in prison for the sexual abuse of a secondary education student and 24-months in prison for the sexual performance with a minor. The sentences are set to run consecutive to the other. Shipley will also have to serve three years of supervised release and register as a sex offender when released.

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