OXFORD, Ohio – Accused of vandalizing a religious structure belonging to a Jewish campus organization, three Miami University students submitted guilty pleas last week, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Kevin Ladriere, 20; Eli Lauger, 20; and Santiago Arenas, 19 turned themselves in to Oxford police after Hillel at Miami’s sukkah was upended on Oct. 15. A sukkah is a temporary structure commemorating the Jewish celebration Sukkot.
They were charged with felony vandalism, but each instead pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor vandalism charge Thursday in Butler County Area Court, the Enquirer reports.
They are each required to pay a $750 fine, plus a $1,099 restitution split between the three of them.
Oxford police said in a social media post they determined there was no religious bias involved because the men were not aware of its significance to Judaism.
Sukkot, also known as the Harvest Celebration, was Oct. 9 through 16 this year. It celebrates the blessings bestowed on the Israelites after escaping slavery.
The sukkah represents the shelters in which they lived while wandering the desert thereafter.