Labels: Falsely Accused
BRIDGEPORT — It was another harrowing case of an alleged rape occurring at an off-campus drinking party of underage college students.
In this instance, a teen claimed she was repeatedly raped by two Sacred Heart University football players in a tiny basement bathroom while the party raged on.
But months after the players were dismissed from the team, stripped of their scholarships and had withdrawn from the school, 18-year-old Nikki Yovino confessed she had made the rape allegations up to gain the sympathy of a prospective boyfriend, police said.
On Wednesday, Yovino, of South Setauket, N.Y., was charged with second-degree false reporting of an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
The tampering charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
After surrendering to police here, Yovino was released after posting $150,000 bond. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court on March 3.
“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against (the football players) 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,” the affidavit states. “She stated that she believed when (the other male student) heard the allegation, it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
Yovino’s lawyer, Mark Sherman, of Stamford, said he hadn’t seen the arrest warrant affidavit but continued, “My client denies the allegations and stands by her original story.”
One of the students has now been allowed readmission to the school but without his scholarship and he is no longer on the football team.
“Whenever there is any kind of incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties involved,” said SHU spokeswoman Deborah Noack. “The way that this particular case is playing out certainly demonstrates the validity of our procedures.”
The names of the two students are being withheld by Hearst Connecticut Media. The lawyer for one of the students said his client does not want to comment on Yovino’s arrest and wants to put the incident behind him.
According to the arrest affidavit, when police Detective Walberto Cotto Jr. pressed Yovino about inconsistencies in her original statement, she admitted she had made up the allegations against the two young men in the hope of gaining sympathy from a prospective boyfriend.
On Oct. 15, police were dispatched to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for a sexual assault complaint. Police said Yovino told them she had attended a Sacred Heart football club party the night before at a house at Lakeside Drive here.
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. ..Source.. by Daniel Tepfer