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College student falsely accuses football players of rape to get attention from romantic interest

A New York woman has pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentencing deal that will land her in jail for falsely accusing two men of rape.

According the The Western Journal, Nikki Yovino claimed the victims, who were at the time members of Sacred Heart University’s football team, raped her during a party being held off the campus of the Connecticut college in October 2016.

An affidavit in the case indicated that when Yovino was interrogated by a detective three months after her initial report, she admitted lying about the rape in an apparent attempt to make a romantic interest more inclined to pay attention to her.

“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 document alleges. “She stated that she believed when [the other male student] heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”

As part of her plea agreement, Yovino is expected to spend one year of a three-year sentenced behind bars with the remainder to be suspended. She will then face three years of probation.

Yovino pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts after potentially facing a felony trial and up to six years in jail. She will be sentenced in August.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tatiana Messina defended the deal, indicating the victims are pleased with the outcome.

“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,” she said.

[Featured image: Nikki Yovino, Ned Gerard/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool]