A former Sacred Heart University student that, to gain sympathy from a prospective boyfriend, made false rape allegations against two footballers, could serve up to two years in prison.
According to The Connecticut Post, Nikki Yovino had claimed that two footballers repeatedly raped her in a basement at an off-campus party.
It was only months later, after both players were kicked off the team and academically suspended from the university that Yovino reportedly confessed to making the whole thing up.
Yovino, who surrendered to police, was released after posting $150,000 bond.
“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against (the football players) because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose (another male student) as a friend and potential boyfriend,” the police arrest warrant stated.
“She stated that she believed when (the other male student) heard the allegation, it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
Detective Walberto Cotto Jr wrote in the affidavit that one of the players “lost a year of NCAA sports eligibility and his Division 1 NCAA football scholarship.” The other player also allegedly lost his scholarship.
Sacred Heart ended up disputing some of the assertions.
“The Federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act prevents us from providing information about specific students. However, I can say that some of the early information that was released is inaccurate,” the universities communications director Deb Noack said in a statement.
“Sacred Heart never expelled the two students nor was any student stripped of scholarships because of any allegations.”
“Whenever there is any kind of incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties involved,” Noack said. “The way that this particular case is playing out certainly demonstrates the validity of our procedures.”
One of the footballers has reportedly returned to the university with the intention of putting this incident behind him.
As for Yovino, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Nowak told Superior Court Judge Earl Richards that he was offering her two years in prison, followed by three years probation as part of a plea bargain.
“I think the offer is a good one considering the serious allegations in the case,” said the judge. June 26 is when the case will be continued and Yovino will have to make her decision.
Yovino has been charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
She has left Sacred Heart University.