Nikki Yovino, a 19-year-old student at Sacred Heart University, falsely accused two Black athletes at the school of raping her to make a love interest react sympathetically to her. As a result, Yovino, of Long Island, N.Y., was slapped with a one-year sentence in prison and appeared to roll her eyes in court during the sentencing last Thursday (Aug. 23).
As reported in detail by the Law & Crime website, Yovino copped to making up the rape story and was caught on video rolling her eyes when her sentence came down. She accused two football players at the Connecticut university of raping her in the fall of 2016, with one of the players, Malik St. Hilaire, confronting Yovino in court while she appeared to smirk as he spoke about how his life was ruined by the accusation.
“I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled, with no way to clear my name,” St. Hilaire said. “I just hope she knows what she has done to me. My life will never be the same. I did nothing wrong, but everything has been altered because of this.”
The second student, whose name was not announced in court, had his statement read by attorny for the players, Frank Riccio II.
“The last almost two years have been definitely my most difficult of my life. The roller-coaster of emotions: fear, anger, sadness, embarrassment, depression, anxiety and the list goes on. 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,” the statement read.
Yovino’s attorney said that his client’s reaction to the sentencing is being misinterpeted and that she realizes the seriousness of her crimes. She plead guilty to two counts of falsely reporting an incident in the second degree and one count of interfering with officers. She was facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence and a middemanor false incident charge but took a plea deal instead.
The players intend to file a civil suit against Yovino for damages.