Nikki Yovino, the Sacred Heart University student who levied false rape accusations against two fellow students, has been sentenced to prison time, the Daily Voice reports. Yovino made the accusations on Oct. 15, 2016, when New York police officers responded to a call to St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Yovino, of South Setauket on Long Island, told police she had been assaulted by two men in a bathroom at a party in Bridgeport. Her assailants were a Sacred Heart University football player and a former university student, she said at the time. Police investigated but found inconsistencies in her story. They questioned her regarding the inconsistencies and she confessed that she was not assaulted, but had consensual sex with the two men.
As a result, Yovino was initially charged with a felony count of evidence tampering, and falsely reporting an incident, which is a misdemeanor. Those charges carry a potential sentence of five years in prison. However, Yovino agreed to a plea deal which reduced the charges to two counts of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with police. Yovino pled guilty to these charges and was sentenced to a year in prison.
Yovino reportedly rolled her eyes as victim Malik St. Hilaire read a statement. The Hour newspaper reported that St. Hilaire had wanted to stay out of the public eye as the case was going to court, but finally felt ready to confront Yovino.
“I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled, with no way to clear my name,” St. Hilaire told the judge, as Yovino smirked just a few feet away. “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.”
All three students involved in the incident have left the university. The other student involved lost a football scholarship as a result and said he is now $30,000 in debt. That student expressed a desire not to be identified.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tatiana Messina said the decision to charge Yovino was a difficult one, but one she felt was necessary. She said Yovino’s accusations did a disservice to real victims who are afraid to come forward and also caused significant harm to the men she accused.
According to police, Yovino told them she made up the accusations so she would not lose the friendship and potential romantic interest of another male student.