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Former SHU student accused of lying about rape rejects plea deals

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BRIDGEPORT -

A former Sacred Heart University student accused of lying about being raped by two university football players rejected two plea deals Wednesday.

Nikki Yovino, 19, is charged with falsely reporting an incident and tampering with physical evidence.

Yovino was previously offered a plea deal of two years in jail followed by three years' probation.

Yovino accused the two football players of sexually assaulting her at an off-campus party back in October of 2016. According to police, the football players admitted to having sex with her, but said it was consensual.

They say Yovino later admitted to making up the allegations because she was worried another student would lose romantic interest in her if he found out about the sexual encounter.

A judge recently denied Yovino access to a probation program that would have led to the charges being dismissed.

Yovino's attorney has maintained she is innocent.

The football players have since left the university and are studying elsewhere. Their attorney says they are ready to testify.

Yovino is due back in court Feb. 21.

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