An 18-year-old Sacred Heart University student has been charged with a felony after police say that she lied about two football players raping her.
Nikki Yovino will face charges of second-degree false reporting of an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, which could land her in prison for more than five years, reports The Connecticut Post.
The two Sacred Heart football players, whose names have not been released, lost their scholarships and were suspended from the team following the October 2016 report. They also agreed to withdraw from the university. Since Yovino recanted, one of the students has been granted readmission to the school, though he is no longer on the team and has no scholarship.
Yovino reportedly admitted that she made up the assault upon follow-up questioning with a police detective regarding inconsistencies in her original story.
Why did she do it? To get attention and sympathy from a romantic interest, she said. According to the affidavit, sexual assault was the first story she could think of when recounting the story to him.
In mid-October, Yovino attended a party with the football players and went into a bathroom with the two of them that night. She told police that they pulled her into the room, even after she protested; according to the affidavit, she said "I don't want to be in here, I don't want to do anything ... My friends are waiting for me outside, let me go outside." She told police that the two men then took turns forcibly having sex with her.
But other students saw her follow the football players into the bathroom and said that things looked a little different to them, as one student said that they overheard Yovino telling the athletes she wanted to have intercourse with them.
Another student shared explicit text messages between her and the suspects, and one of them reportedly recorded a video of part of the incident, reports WABC-TV.
Yovino surrendered to police and was released upon a $150,000 bail. Her lawyer said that she "stands by her original story," notes the Post.