If there is anyone in this world who needs to stay humble, keep their mouth closed and mind their business, it is the woman who admitted to falsely accusing two football players of rape all because she thought it would help her get the attention of another person she was hoping to date.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with 19-year-old Nikki Yovino of Long Island, N.Y.
In February 2017, Yovino told police that she had been raped by two black Sacred Heart University football players. She said she attended an off-campus party on Oct. 15, 2016, in Bridgeport, Conn., where the two men pulled her into a basement bathroom and took turns raping her. Both young men denied the claim and said that the sex was consensual. Police conducted a full investigation.
Yovino admitted months later that she made the story up in an attempt to get sympathy from a young man she was hoping to date. She was originally charged with felony tampering with evidence and misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident, but she made a deal and pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with police—all of which are misdemeanors—shortly before her case was set to go to trial. According to Law & Crime, by taking the plea agreement, Yovino avoided the more serious felony charge. The agreement also gave prosecutors a way to avoid having the felony charge reversed on appeal, while also ensuring Yovino served time for her crime.
In the aftermath of her lie, the two young men who were accused ended up having to leave school after they lost their scholarships. They lost their opportunities for education, athletic, and future life success all because a desperate young woman wanted a date.
Knowing these things, you would think Yovino would have at least some amount of remorse and humility—but you would be wrong.
The Hour reports that during her sentencing hearing Thursday, Yovino rolled her eyes as one of her victims read a statement detailing the impact her false accusation continues to have on his life.
Up until now, Malik St. Hilaire and his fellow victim have kept their names out of the headlines and stayed out of the spotlight—but on Thursday, St. Hilaire told his attorney he wanted to confront Yovino about what she had done to him.
Frank Riccio II, the attorney representing both of the young men Yovino lied on, read a statement from the second young man—whom he identified only by his initials, D.B.
“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.”
Riccio then called St. Hilaire forward to read his statement.
St. Hilaire told the court, “I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled, with no way to clear my name. 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.”
St. Hilaire said he has experienced anxiety and PTSD as a result of the false charges.
Superior Court Judge William Holden sentenced Yovino to three years in prison. Her sentence will be suspended after she serves one year, followed by probation.
In the video Law & Crime posted to their website, Yovino’s body language does not reflect someone who regrets her actions. Law & Crime asked her attorney, Ryan O’Neill, about Yovino appearing to be rolling her eyes during the proceedings.
O’Neill said, “she was not.”
O’Neill told Law & Crime that the judge had not reprimanded his client for her behavior, and that Yovino’s actions in court was just a nervous young woman trying to keep her hair out of her face as she stood in restraints for a long period of time. He also said it was unfair to characterize her behavior as defiant.
Whether she was rolling her eyes at the judge, her victims or her hair, Yovino should realize that she got off relatively lightly compared to the two men whose lives she destroyed.
She will do probably another three months in jail (she’s already served three), serve her probation and move on with her life with a slap-on-the-wrist misdemeanor on her record.
The long history of white women waging their white womanhood against black men will forever haunt to the two young men who now have to find a way to pick up the pieces now that their ordeal is over.