Ex-rowing coach at Bethesda school sentenced for sexual abuse

A former rowing coach at a Bethesda, Maryland, high school was sentenced Friday to serve three years in prison for sexual misconduct with two students.

Kirkland Shipley, of D.C., has been sentenced to five years, with two suspended, on charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student and possession of a sexual performance by a minor. He pleaded guilty in June.

Shipley was the crew coach at Walt Whitman High School. Prosecutors said one of his victims was on the team, and also took history and geography classes from him for three years. In her sophomore year, Shipley texted her about “rowing and personal matters.” In her senior year, in 2018, he began to text her “more frequently and about increasingly personal topics,” prosecutors said.

In May 2018, he picked her up in his car and sexually abused her at his home in Northwest D.C., they said in a statement.

The other victim was on the team from 2009 to 2013, and took a history class from him. In July 2013, when she was 17 and had graduated from school, Shipley sexually abused her at his home, the prosecutors said. He also had explicit photos and videos of her, and sent explicit photos and videos of himself to her, the statement said.

After Shipley is released from prison, he’ll be placed on two years of probation and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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