Woman who pleaded guilty in false rape sentenced to prison

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BRIDGEPORT -

A former Sacred Heart University student who falsely accused two university football players of rape was sentenced today to a year in prison.

Nikki Yovino previously took a plea deal on the day jury selection was supposed to begin for her trial.

Yovino did not address the court on Thursday, but one of the men she previously accused did.

Malik St. Hilaire told the judge his life has been a roller coaster since the incident.  He explained how he suffers from anxiety and PTSD and how he hopes she understands what she did.

"I went from being a college student to being at home, expelled, with no classes, no information, and no opportunity to even clear my name," he said.

The case dates back to October 2016 when police say Yovino accused two football players of raping her at an off-campus party.

They say further investigation revealed the sex was consensual and Yovino admitted to making up the allegations in an effort to gain sympathy from a potential new boyfriend.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of falsely reporting an incident and one count of interfering with a police investigation - all misdemeanors. Prior to the deal, she'd been charged with a felony.

The agreement calls for one year in prison, followed by three years' probation. If she violates probation, she'll have to go back for another two years.

Yovino has already served about three months while in custody since the plea.

The attorney for the two men accused by Yovino says they will be moving forward with a civil case against her.

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