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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 5 months ago

Horizon West dance instructor arrested on seven felony charges

Police say Kevin Cosculluela engaged in sexual activities with two underage students at Peaches Dance and Music Orlando.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

One Horizon West dance instructor is facing seven felony charges related to sexual activities with two underage students at Peaches Dance and Music Orlando.

According to Orange County Sheriff’s Office reports, Kevin Cosculluela, 25, of Windermere, was arrested Jan. 20 on seven felony charges — including charges of sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old child, solicitation of a minor, lewd or lascivious conduct and illegal use of a communication device.

According to the arrest warrant, Cosculluela — who had appeared on the television reality show “Dance Moms" in 2018 — was fired from the studio in early January after the two students he sexually abused reported his misconduct.

Winter Garden police, Orange County deputies and the Department of Children and Families began an investigation  in early December 2020, after they received a report of inappropriate text messages between Cosculluela and one of the students. The victim told authorities she had been texting with Cosculluela since September 2020 and saw him as “famous” and “important” for his role as a “celebrity” dancer.

Cosculluela’s manipulation grew intense as time went on, and the victim said she often would be verbally abused if she didn’t do what he wanted, the report states.

“She explained that Kevin would threaten to take away lessons, ignore her during lessons, yell at her, swear at her and not speak to her for days if she didn't do what he wanted,” the arrest warrant reads. “She said that it affected her greatly when he ignored her during her dance lessons because of how important she viewed him.”

Things escalated as the victim was invited to his apartment between dance classes — where she performed a sexual act. The same happened to the second student, who told investigators she had been to his apartment several times and had also sent nude photos over Snapchat.

Since his arrest, Cosculluela has bonded out and entered a plea of not guilty. His next hearing is set for May 5.

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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