Former Apopka High teacher convicted of sexually abusing foreign exchange student

A former Apopka High School teacher was recently found guilty by a Lake County jury of sexually battering a foreign exchange student who was staying at his home in Mount Dora.

On Monday, State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit Bill Gladson announced that 51-year-old Dmitri Kostyunin has been convicted of engaging in an act that constitutes sexual battery upon a child 12 years of age or older but younger than 18 years of age by a person in familial or custodial authority, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and delivery of cannabis to a person under the age of 18 years by an adult.

According to court records, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was contacted in October of 2023 by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents regarding an incident involving Kostyunin and a foreign exchange student from Italy.

The student told family members back home about the sexual abuse committed by Kostyunin. Shortly after the student’s family contacted law enforcement, LCSO detectives responded to Apopka High School and met the victim regarding the allegations. The victim stated that they had been residing with their foreign exchange provider, identified as Kostyunin, since August of 2023.

The victim told detectives that Kostyunin had given them “cannabis-infused chocolates and alcohol” one night while watching a movie together. Court records state that Kostyunin proceeded to commit sexual battery on the student while they were under the influence of both substances.

When detectives made contact with Kostyunin and conducted an interview, he admitted to giving the student the cannabis-infused chocolate, as well as wine and beer. He then stated that he “blacked out” and woke up the next day, realizing that he “made a mistake.”

Kostyunin was arrested and taken into custody on October 3, 2023.

According to State Attorney Gladson, a presentencing investigation has been issued, and Kostyunin will be sentenced at a later time.

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