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Teen charged with fabricating off-campus rape allegations against two college football players

February 23, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Teen charged with fabricating off-campus rape allegations against two college football players

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Two college football players, who were barred from their team last year and had their scholarships rescinded after being accused of an off-campus rape, have been cleared by authorities after investigators revealed that their accuser withdrew her tale.

Nikki Yovino, 18, claimed the off-campus rape occurred at a residence in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Police charged Yovino of South Setauket, NY, with falsely reporting an incident in the second degree and tampering or fabricating physical evidence in connection with an incident at a football party at Sacred Heart University in October, according to the Connecticut Post.

When questioned about discrepancies in her original account, Yovino confessed that she made up the off-campus rape accusations against the two football players in hopes of getting sympathy from another man — a prospective boyfriend, an arrest affidavit revealed.

Authorities said that Yovino told them on October 15th at a hospital where they responded to a sexual assault complaint the day after she attended the Sacred Heart football club party.

Nikki Yovino falsely accused 2 college football players of rape at an off-campus party

Detectives said that Yovino claimed two suspects pulled her into a bathroom in the home’s basement and forced her down, all while they took turns sexually assaulting her.

Both men admitted to having sex with Yovino but asserted that it was consensual. Bridgeport Detective Walberto Cotto Jr. later interviewed Yovino after other students had said it appeared Yovino went into the bathroom voluntarily with the two men.

One student, the arrest warrant affidavit reported, said he heard Yovino telling the men that she wanted to have sex with them.

“She admitted that she made up the sexual assault against (the players) because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose (another student) as a potential boyfriend. She stated that she believed when (the other male) heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic,” the affidavit states.

Nikki Yovino has been charged with falsely reporting a rape (Photo: Facebook)

Mark Sherman, Yovino’s lawyer, said he had not yet been given police reports and video footage about the case, but told The New York Post that he expects Yovino to plead not guilty at her arraignment hearing on March 3rd.

Yovino, who was freed after she posted $5,000 bond, is facing up to five years behind bars if found guilty of the felony tampering charge.

Officials at Sacred Heart refused to provide information, citing federal privacy laws, about the students, including the identities of the two football players and whether they will be reinstated by the university.

University spokeswoman Deborah Noack said in an email. “Whenever there is any incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties. The way that this case is playing out demonstrates the validity of our procedures.”

Noack also declined to specify whether Yovino was a current or former student at the University. Her Facebook identifies her as a psychology and pre-med student.

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