A New York college student is being sent to prison for falsely accusing two peers of rape, the New York Post reports.
The sentence comes nearly two years after Nikki Yovino, 19, alleged she was coerced into having sex with two Sacred Heart University football players in a bathroom at a party.
Her story changed multiple times.
After first making the claim in October 2016, Yovino acknowledged that she manufactured the allegation to hide promiscuous behavior from a prospective lover.
“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,” an affidavit obtained by the Connecticut Post reads. “She stated that she believed when (the other male student) heard the allegation it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
Yovino later backtracked and returned to the original version she gave to police, but then pleaded guilty to charges of falsely reporting an incident and interfering with law enforcement.
“I just hope you spend the time reflecting on what you did,” Judge William Holden said during a court hearing on Thursday.
Holden sentenced Yovino to three years in prison but suspended two of the years, meaning she’ll serve only one behind bars.
Both of the victims offered statements to the judge.
One of the males, Malik St. Hilaire, spoke in court and said he initially felt there was nothing he could do to clear his name.
“I just hope she knows what she has done to me,” St. Hilaire said. “My life will never be the same. I did nothing wrong, but everything has been altered because of this.”
Yovino reportedly rolled her eyes and smirked while Hilaire spoke, according to the newspaper.
A statement from the second victim, whose name has not been released, was read by his attorney. The second victim said his life has been irrevocably changed because of the false accusation, lawyer Frank Riccio said.
“The roller coaster of emotions — fear, anger, sadness, embarrassment, depression, anxiety — and the list goes on,” Riccio said. “She accused me of what I believe to be a horrendous, horrific crime out of her own selfish concerns. I lost my scholarship, my dream of continuing to play football and now I am in debt $30,000 and I’m simply trying to get ahead as best as I can.”
Yovino’s mother was removed from the courtroom after her mobile phone interrupted the proceedings.