Cops: Football players falsely accused of rape – ESPN

A New York woman is facing charges after police say she confessed to lying about being raped by two football players from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, because of fears a third student would lose romantic interest in her.

Nikki Yovino of South Setauket, New York, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

The 18-year-old Yovino said two football players sexually assaulted her in a bathroom in October during an off-campus party.

The men said it was consensual.

Capt. Brian Fitzgerald told WABC-TV that another student informed authorities of explicit text messages among the three. He says one man also recorded some of the incident on his cellphone.

Yovino’s lawyer, Mark Sherman, told The Connecticut Post that he hadn’t seen the arrest warrant affidavit, and his client stands by her original story.

The Connecticut Post also reported that the students were dismissed from the team, stripped of their scholarships and had withdrawn from the school, but Sacred Heart provided a conflicting report in a statement.

“The federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act prevents us from providing information about specific students. However, I can say that some of the early information that was released is inaccurate. Sacred Heart never expelled the two students nor was any student stripped of scholarships because of any allegations,” Deb Noack, Sacred Heart University’s director of communications, said in the statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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