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Abuse Guardians
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Apopka, FL – In a disturbing case that has shocked the community, former Apopka High School teacher Dmitri Kostyunin, 51, was found guilty last week in Lake County for sexually abusing a foreign exchange student staying with him. The State Attorney’s Office revealed that the victim, an Italian exchange student, reported the abuse to his family in Italy, prompting law enforcement involvement.

Shocking Details of Exchange Student Sexually Assaulted By Teacher

According to authorities, Kostyunin drugged the student with marijuana-laced chocolates and alcohol while watching a movie regarding Elton John and “how he became gay.” Despite the student’s refusals, Kostyunin persisted with offers of massages and ultimately performed sexual acts on the minor. Kostyunin later admitted to providing the substances to the boy and expressed remorse for his actions.

FL High School Teacher Arrested for Child Sexual Abuse

Following his arrest on October 3, Kostyunin faced charges including sexual battery on a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and delivering cannabis to a person under 18 years of age. State Attorney Bill Gladson condemned Kostyunin’s actions as a betrayal of trust and a danger to the community.

School Responds Following Teacher’s Arrest for Sex Crimes

The incident has deeply affected not only the victim but also the community at large. Apopka High School Principal Lyle Heinz assured families that the incident did not occur on campus and that Kostyunin is on administrative leave pending investigations. The school community has been urged to support each other during this challenging time.

Former Teacher Found Guilty of Child Sex Abuse Awaiting Sentencing

As Kostyunin awaits sentencing following a presentencing investigation, the case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals and upholding trust within educational institutions.

Uncovering Legal Options for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Following the news of the disturbing case involving a former Apopka High School teacher convicted of sexually abusing a foreign exchange student, we sat down with experienced Florida child sex abuse lawyer Michael Haggard to discuss legal options available to abuse victims and their families. Haggard shared details on how victims can navigate the complexities of civil litigation and hold all responsible parties accountable.

Attorney Laurence Banville (LB): Thank you for joining us, Michael.

Attorney Michael Haggard (MH): Thank you for having me, Laurence. It’s an important issue we’re discussing today.

LB: Absolutely. In light of the recent conviction of a teacher sexually abusing a foreign exchange student, I wanted to discuss the legal options available to victims in such cases. Could you provide some insights into what these students can do from a civil standpoint?

MH: Certainly, Laurence. Victims of sexual abuse by school teachers, especially foreign exchange students, have the right to pursue justice through a civil case. It is essential for them to hold all liable parties accountable for the trauma they have endured.

LB: Could you elaborate on who these liable parties might be in cases like this?

MH: Absolutely. When it comes to civil cases involving foreign exchange students abused by a school teacher, liable parties may include the teacher themselves, the school or educational institution employing the teacher, placement agency officials, and potentially any other individuals or entities that may have contributed to or enabled the abuse.

LB: That’s a significant aspect to consider. In your experience, what steps should these victims take to pursue a civil case?

MH: Victims should seek justice by retaining legal representation from experienced child sex abuse attorneys. It’s beneficial for them to find a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases and has a strong track record of advocating for survivors. This attorney can guide them through the legal process, gather evidence, and build a compelling case.

LB: Absolutely. And what outcomes can these victims expect from a successful civil case?

MH: Successful civil cases can result in various outcomes, including financial compensation for the victims’ physical, emotional, and psychological damages. Additionally, the legal action may prompt changes in policies and procedures within the educational institution to prevent future abuses.

LB: Thank you for sharing this helpful information. It’s clear that the victims of such heinous acts deserve justice, and civil cases can play a crucial role in that pursuit.

MH: Absolutely, Laurence. It’s our goal to help survivors to seek the justice they deserve.

Sexually Abused as a Foreign Exchange Student? Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or your loved ones have been impacted by sexual abuse as a foreign exchange student, remember that you don’t have to face this journey alone. Our compassionate team is here to provide support, guidance, and a voice for your rights. We understand the complexities of these cases and the importance of seeking justice. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation, and let us help you navigate the path toward healing and reclaiming your power.


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