The three Miami University students who trespassed onto Miami Hillel’s property and knocked over a religious hut have accepted guilty pleas for the crime.
Around 2 a.m. on Oct. 15, Miami students Kevin Ladriere (20), Eli Lauger (20) and Santiago Arenas (19) crossed Hillel’s fence at 11 E Walnut St. and toppled a sukkah, a hut used to celebrate the Jewish holiday Sukkot, destroying the inside. After Hillel shared video footage of the action in an email on Oct. 21, the three individuals stepped forward that night and claimed responsibility.
On Oct. 27, the Oxford Police Department posted to its Facebook page that the three men would be charged with vandalism. The post also said no antisemitic motives were found during the investigation, and the students didn’t know the hut was used religiously.
The students were charged with a felony for vandalism, due to the total cost of the damage being more than $1,000. However, on Nov. 17, the Butler County Area Court allowed the three students to plead guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor vandalism.
The students will now each pay a $750 fine in addition to $1,099 owed for damages to the Sukkot which will be split between them.