Former teacher found guilty of sexually battering foreign exchange student in ’23

TAVARES, Fla.—A former high school teacher has been found guilty of sexually battering a foreign exchange student last year, along with other charges related to the incident.

A Lake County jury found Dmitri V. Kostyunina, 51, guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, delivery of cannabis to a person under 18 and sexual battery last week in Tavares, according to Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Bill Gladson’s office.

Kostyunina was employed as a science teacher at Apopka High School when he was arrested in October 2023 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contacted Mount Dora Police Department and stated a “sexual incident” occurred at Kostyunina’s home in Mount Dora. The victim told authorities that Kostyunina gave him marijuana edibles and alcohol and performed sex acts on the boy in two different rooms in his home in September 2023. The boy, from Italy, had been staying with Kostyunina since August as part of a foreign exchange student program, Gladson’s office said. The boy’s age has never been released.

During an interview, Kostyunina admitted giving the boy THC edibles, wine and beer and claimed he “blacked out” and woke up to evidence of a sexual encounter, and “he knew he made a mistake,” his arrest affidavit states.

“Kostyunin’s actions not only violated the trust placed in him but also endangered the well-being of a child within our community,” Gladson said. “Instead of being able to learn abroad, make lasting friendships, and take in some of the amazing things our country has to offer, those experiences and memories will forever be tarnished because of Kostyunin.”

Kostyunina has been held in the Lake County Jail on no bond since his arrest; he will be sentenced at a later date.

Previous story: Apopka High School Teacher Admits Giving THC Edibles and Alcohol to Child Prior to “Sexual Incident” in Mount Dora – Inside Lake

Scroll to Top

No Paywalls

Local journalism is more important than ever before and we are dedicated to the health and vibrancy of our community. Your support helps us maintain our independence and our ability to report the news without bias or influence.

You can show your support by advertising, email us at [email protected] or by donating at PayPal