A woman appeared to roll her eyes in court several times as she was sentenced to one year in jail for making false rape allegations against two college football players.
Twenty-year-old Nikki Yovino, who police say had a sexual encounter with two players in Connecticut and later made false rape allegations so she wouldn't lose a potential boyfriend, was sentenced Thursday in Bridgeport Superior Court.
She pleaded guilty in June to misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting an incident and interfering with police.
Police say Yovino, of South Setauket, New York, was attending Sacred Heart University in Fairfield when she reported being raped by two school football players in 2016, but later admitted making up the story.
The football players were never arrested, but both withdrew from the school while facing possible discipline. One player said in court Thursday that the allegations damaged his life, including forcing him to leave school.
Yovino's attorney, Ryan O'Neill, said the apparent eye rolls were a non-story, saying in a lengthy statement, "The claims that Nikki 'rolled her eyes' in some sort of defiance of the process is false."
"The claims are belied by the fact that the judge neither reprimanded her, nor commented on her demeanor, despite sitting directly in front of her," O'Neill continued. "Nikki had been cuffed with her hands behind her back for almost 30 minutes, and had to stand the entire time. She has long hair, and at times tried to get it out of her face. During the hearing, her eyes moved in innocuous ways on occasion, and nothing more. In fact, some of the so-called eye rolls were done when nothing of consequence was going on. Was she demonstrating her defiance then? This is a manufactured storyline designed to get more page hits, plain and simple."