The Long Island woman who lied about being raped by two college football players was sentenced in a Connecticut courtroom last week.
Nikki Yovino, 20, was sentenced to three years in jail Thursday after pleading guilty to false rape claims against two Sacred Heart University football players, WABC-TV reported. She’ll only serve one year behind bars, however, with the rest of her sentence suspended as part of a plea bargain.
Yovino confessed to lying about the rape in 2016, saying she was afraid her consensual act with the two players would ruin her chances with a potential boyfriend. The woman initially told police she was raped in the bathroom during an off-campus party.
She fooled detectives at first, but inconsistencies in her story led authorities to question her further about the alleged encounter. The discovery of sexual text messages between Yovino and the athletes, as well as video of the encounter taken by one of the students, also poked massive holes in the young woman’s claims, WPVI reported.
When police confronted her about the new evidence, Yovinno confessed to making the entire thing up.
“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against [the football players] because it was the first thing that came to min,” an arrest affidavit stated. ” … She stated that she believed when [the other male student] heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
Police later charged the young woman with second-degree false reporting and tampering with physical evidence.
The accused footballers were never arrested but eventually dropped out of school, one of them losing their football scholarship. In court Thursday, Malik St. Hilaire said his life has been a roller coaster since the incident with Yovino and that he now struggles with anxiety and PTSD, according to the news station.
“I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled, with no way to clear my name,” St. Hilaire said. “I just hope she knows what she has done to me … My life will never be the same. I did nothing wrong, but everything has been altered because of this.”
At one point, Yovino appeared to roll her eyes as the victim of her lies spoke of the impact her falsehoods have had on his life. The second victim, who remains unnamed, did not appear in court.
Frank Riccio II, an attorney representing the two falsely accused students, said Yovino’s sentencing was a day that had to come.
“It was a day that seemed like it would never get here — but they’re happy it’s finally come,” Riccio said. “They’re happy that they’ve been vindicated. To a degree, their lives will never be the same. But at least this is some form of solace to them.”
Both men are now considering taking legal action against Yovino.
Watch more in the video below.