A former college student from Long Island who claimed two Sacred Heart University football players raped her admitted to a courtroom Tuesday that she made it all up.
Nikki Yovino, 19, agreed to plead guilty to one count of falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with police for fabricating her rape claims, the Connecticut Post reported.
As part of the plea deal, the former student agreed to serve a reduced sentence of one year behind bars. Yovino had been facing up to six years in prison before the plea deal.
She reportedly agreed to the deal as the court prepared to select a jury for her false rape trial.
“We were prepared to go to trial on the original felony charge, but after lengthy discussions with all parties involved and considering all outside factors, this was an appropriate disposition that will hopefully set a precedent about how serious the state takes this conduct,” Senior Assistant State Attorney Tatiana Messina told the judge ruling on Yovino’s case, according to the New York Post.
Yovino told Bridgeport, Connecticut, police officers that the two players raped her in the bathroom of a house where an off-campus party had been taking place. The two football players got kicked off the team, lost their scholarships, and got expelled from the university as a result of the accusations.
Three months later, Yovino recanted the rape accusations when police found her story to be inconsistent. While both players admitted to having sex with her, they said it was consensual.
The attorney for the football players, Frank Riccio II, said Tuesday that his clients are thinking of suing Yovino separately from the criminal for the damage her lie caused to their reputations.
“They’re no longer in school,” Riccio said. “The loss of their education and the college experience has certainly affected them greatly. And this is all because of a very serious lie.”