The former college student from Long Island who faces charges related to false rape allegations that she fabricated against two football players to save face with a potential boyfriend is hoping to avoid jail time by claiming that she was suffering from a psychiatric disability when she made the accusations.
Nikki Yovino, a 19-year-old former student at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, was charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence after she made up accusations that led to the two football players facing expulsion, the Connecticut Post reported.
In July, Yovino filed an application in court claiming that she was afflicted with a mental health condition so that she could enter a pretrial diversionary program that could result in the charges being dismissed. She was supposed to undergo a psychological evaluation but did not go through with it after her lawyer objected.
“It was unconstitutional,” attorney Mark Sherman said, insisting that Yovino had the right to counsel while being evaluated. A subsequent psychological evaluation will take place before the next court date, which is scheduled for October 11.
“This is a perfect program for my client,” Sherman said of the pretrial diversionary program. “Hopefully she will get the program and we will be presenting our own expert from Yale to testify at the hearing.”
Prosecutors offered Yovnio a plea bargain that would have seen her spend two years in prison, followed by three years’ probation.
“I think the offer is a good one considering the serious allegations in the case,” Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Nowak said at the time.
Yovino originally claimed that she was raped last October, when the two football players supposedly pulled her into a bathroom and took turns having sex with her. They both admitted to the encounter but said that the sex was consensual but were convinced to withdraw anyway under threat of expulsion.
The accuser later recanted the tale, claiming that “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,” a police affidavit said.