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Former student sentenced for June residence hall arson

A former Ohio University student pleaded guilty to arson and will have to pay more than $45,000 to the university for starting a fire in Brough House last year.

Nathan Cencula, 21, took a plea agreement with the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office Monday and was sentenced to spend two weeks in jail and pay about $46,600 restitution fine to OU.

Cencula, of St. Clairsville, Ohio, was originally charged with aggravated arson and criminal mischief June 4. The then-sophomore turned himself in one day after he started a fire in the South Green residence hall.

The aggravated arson and criminal mischief charges were dropped as part of the agreement, according to court documents.

The fire was estimated to cause $50,000 in damage to Brough House common room. The OU Police investigation into the fire cost about $2,200, according to court documents.

In addition to the jail time and fine, Cencula was sentenced to four years of post-release control. If Cencula violates the terms he could be sentenced to a maximum of 18 months in prison and a fine of $5,000.

Cencula could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years and six months in prison and a maximum fine of $22,500 if convicted of his three original charges at a trial, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

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