11 February, 2019
Man Found Guilty of Setting Fire to New Jersey Strip Club
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from .
A man was convicted of setting fire to a strip club in New Jersey after believing he had been robbed, prosecutors announced.
Steve Cotto, 61, of Irvington, was found guilty of aggravated arson Thursday, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Sean Dickson, who tried the case, with Assistant Prosecutor Brian Olsen, on July 17, 2016, the Irvington Police and Fire Departments responded to the Paradizio Gentlemen's Club located in the 1000 block of Clinton Avenue in Irvington on reports of a fire.
After the fire was extinguished, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Crash and Fire Unit was called in to investigate due to the suspicious nature of the blaze. The investigation allegedly determined that a patron set fire to the building by throwing Molotov cocktails and a gas can into the club.
Subsequently, it was determined that the man who allegedly set fire to the club setting fire to the club Cotto, who was seen leaving the club earlier that evening, prosecutors say.
While being questioned about the fire Cutto accused the club of robbing other patrons, prosecutors say adding he believed he had been robbed.
Cotto faces a minimum of 5 years in New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced April 12. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.