Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties
Office of The State Attorney, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Florida
Serving the Citizens of Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter Counties



(Lake County, FL) Last week, 51-year-old Dmitri Kostyunin, a former Apopka High School teacher, was found guilty by a Lake County jury 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 a Person Over the Age of 18.

“Kostyunin’s actions not only violated the trust placed in him but also endangered the well-being of a child within our community,” stated Bill Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “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.”

Back in October of 2023, officials with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) were contacted by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) who were informed by authorities in Italy about an incident that occurred at Kostyunin’s home in Mount Dora, involving an exchange student who is an Italian citizen. 

The student reported the sexual abuse committed by Kostuynin to family members back home, who reported the crime. Detectives with the LCSO responded to Apopka High School to meet with the victim regarding the allegations. The victim relayed to detectives that they had been residing with Kostyunin, who was their Foreign Exchange Provider, since August.

The victim further explained to officials that Kostyunin had given them cannabis-infused chocolates and alcohol one night while watching a movie together. While the victim was under the influence of both substances, Kostyunin committed a sexual battery on the child.

Shortly after speaking with the victim, LCSO investigators interviewed Kostyunin who admitted to giving the juvenile the cannabis-infused chocolate, as well as wine and beer. Kostyunin then stated he blacked out but woke up the next day and knew he made a mistake. Kostyunin was arrested and taken into custody on October 3, 2023. 

A presentencing investigation was issued and Kostyunin will be sentenced at a later time.  

The Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office extends its gratitude to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigators in this case, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and their counterparts in Italy who reported this crime.

This case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Kati Cosden and Chelsey Omega.


Published on 3/25/2024.