Former Maryland high school teacher pleads guilty to sexual abuse of a minor charge

A former teacher at Walt Whitman High School in Montgomery County has pleaded guilty to charges of sexually abusing a high school student and possessing sexually explicit material of a 17-year-old former high school student.

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The Department of Justice announced the plea entered by Kirkland Shipley, 48, on Friday.

According to the DOJ, evidence shows that between May 2014 and June 2018 Shipley sexually abused a female victim on at least two occasions at his home in D.C. At the time of the offenses, Shipley was the victim's teacher and rowing coach at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda.

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Shipley was also charged for being in possession of sexually explicit photos and videos of another victim. That victim, who was 17-year-old at the time of the offenses, was on the rowing team at Whitman from 2009 to 2013, and was in one of Shipley's classes during her junior year. Investigators said that Shipley had sex with the victim in 2013 and continued exchanging explicit videos and pictures with her for months after.

After an investigation into the incidents, Metropolitan Police Department officers arrested Shipley in August 2021.

Sentencing in the case is set for September. As part of the sentence, Shipley will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.


According to Walt Whitman school officials, Shipley first started working at the school in 2001.