ELKHART — A teenager admitted he committed arson and criminal mischief on a vacant building during his initial hearing in juvenile court Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The boy, 15, was one of three who were arrested Aug. 19, six days after a fire severely damaged the former Goshen Inn. He is the second defendant to admit to some of the formal delinquency petitions filed by the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office.
The three boys faced formal delinquency petitions of arson, burglary and criminal mischief.
During a short questioning by his attorney, the boy admitted to having entered the vacant building Aug. 12 and starting a fire that caused an estimated $5,000 of damage to the structure.
He also admitted to causing damage to the building by breaking its windows sometime between the end of July and Aug. 4. The burglary charge was dropped.
Magistrate Deborah Domine said the teen will be released from the juvenile detention center and placed on probation with electronic monitoring. He was ordered to have no contact with the other defendants involved in the burglary and fire, and to delete his Facebook account and any other social media.
He was also ordered to participate in the victim-offender reconciliation program, an addictions assessment and to complete 100 hours of community service.
“This will be your way of showing you have something to give,” Domine said. “You took a building and you took away the trust in kids in some way.”
A third teenager facing arson and burglary charges in the case will appear in court for his initial hearing Thursday morning.
Because they were charged as juveniles, the names of the teenagers have not been released.