Montgomery County

Former Maryland High School Rowing Coach Pleads Guilty to Sex Abuse of Student

Kirk Shipley was the crew coach at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda


A former high school rowing coach has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing one of his students and possessing sexual images of another.

Kirk Shipley was the crew coach at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda.

In court Friday, Shipley pleaded guilty to two counts: sexually abusing a high school student, and possessing sexually explicit material of a 17-year-old former high school student.

Court documents say he had sex with that 17-year-old multiple times and that they exchanged nude photos and videos. The victim was member of the crew team at Whitman

Montgomery County Public Schools officials say Shipley had worked there for nearly 20 years and that he was also a social studies teacher. He was arrested in August 2021.

Court documents showed multiple pages of explicit texts between Shipley and his teenage victims. At one point, he discussed birth control, saying, "We can't have any little Shipley's running around."

One of the victims asked when he started liking her, and he replied, "I probably wouldn't tell you. It might be earlier than you are comfortable with."

Shipley will be sentenced in September. He faces up to 10 years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine for each count, possible restitution payments to his victims, and he'll have to register as a sex offender for life.

News4 reached out to Shipley’s attorney and Montgomery County Public Schools for comment but has not received responses yet.

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