Last year a young woman from Long Island who was attending Sacred Heart University in Connecticut came to the police with a harrowing tale. Nikki Yovino told the authorities that two football players from the school had trapped her in the bathroom at a party they were attending and raped her. Police immediately began investigating the horrible crime and quickly identified the suspects. They claimed that the sex was consensual but the victim was adamant. Or at least she was adamant until others came forward to testify that the football players were telling the truth.
Eventually, Yovino retracted her story and admitted that she had engaged in sex with the boys at the party willingly. Later she decided to make up the rape story to win the support and affection of a different boy she had wanted to date. Then, in a shocking turn of events which we rarely if ever see in such instances of false accusations, Yovino was charged with a crime over her lies. Now, following a very generous plea deal, she’s heading off to prison. (Legal Insurrection and the College Fix)
College student who invented gang rape sentenced to a year in prison
Nikki Yovino was facing six years in prison on charges of falsely reporting she was raped and “tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.”
Thanks to a last-minute plea deal, the former Sacred Heart University student will only face one, and maybe not even that long.
Connecticut Post reports that Yovino agreed to plead guilty to “two counts of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with police,” all misdemeanors. Notably, the prosecutors and judge in the case are all female:
The local coverage has a few more details but the court settlement seems fairly straightforward. Prosecutors were looking for six years in prison but just as the jury was about to be seated, Yovino took a plea agreement for one year in prison and she likely won’t even serve all of that. This is, quite frankly, shocking, to say the least. We’re so conditioned to never do anything to upset a sexual assault victim that even when one is proven to be completely false, nothing ever seems to happen to them. (Has anyone noticed “Jackie” from the Rolling Stone story being marched off in handcuffs yet?)
The one dubious portion of the coverage comes from a statement from the Assistant State’s Attorney when the plea deal was announced. She said, “The important thing is that the victims are happy with the disposition.” That strikes me as a bit odd since the two football players (who are not being named) are still saying that they may take Yovino to civil court and sue her. Hard to blame them, all things considered, but they don’t sound particularly “happy” with the outcome at this point.
So will this wind up being the beginning of a new trend in justice? Will people making false rape accusations actually start being held accountable? More to the point, will more of these cases be turned directly over to the police for proper adjudication rather than being left in the hands of campus kangaroo courts? Color me skeptical. We’ve been stuck in this legal rut for a very long time and I don’t think one liar serving a year behind bars is going to entirely alter the landscape.