A 20-year-old woman from Long Island was arrested for allegedly making false statements about a sexual assault at a Connecticut college. Nikki Yovino, of South Setauket, reported that she was raped by two football players at Sacred Heart University during a football party last fall, but an affidavit says that she made up the story in order to not alienate a potential boyfriend. However, the woman's lawyer says, "My client denies the allegations and stands by her original story."
According to the Connecticut Post, at the time of the report, officers responded to St. Vincent’s Medical Center:
Police said the girl claimed the two men pulled her into a bathroom in the basement of the house.
“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,” police said she claims she told the men.
Police said Yovino told them they held her down and each took a turn sexually assaulting her.
Police said both men admitted having sex with Yovino in the bathroom, but said it was consensual. Both students agreed to withdraw from the university after they were stripped of their scholarships and as they were about to go before a disciplinary hearing.
However, Yovino was questioned about inconsistencies in her account. WABC 7 reports, "[R]ecently, another student came forward and shed light on apparently explicit text messages between alleged victim and the two male students, and [Bridgeport Police Captain Brian] Fitzgerald said one of the men had even captured part of the incident on his cell phone."
According to an affidavit, "She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against 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. She stated that she believed when (he) heard the allegation, it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
Fitzgerald also told WABC 7 "she recanted immediately, she might not have been charged. But after months of investigation, they had no choice but to arrest her."
The university said, "Whenever there is any kind of incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties involved. The way that this particular case is playing out certainly demonstrates the validity of our procedures."
Yovino, who dropped out of the school, is out on $150,000 bond. The Connecticut Post reports that tampering with or fabricating physical evidence is a felony, with up to five years in prison if convicted.