By Rita Egan
South Setauket native Nikki Yovino turned herself into the Bridgeport Police Department last week after a warrant for her arrest was issued. The 2016 Ward Melville graduate is accused of filing a false police report and tampering with evidence involving a case where she reported two men for sexual assault, according to the Bridgeport Police Department website.
“As the investigation continued, the case detective received more information that contradicted Yovino’s statements to police.”
— Bridgeport Police Department
After attending a party Oct. 15, Yovino reported that two black males sexually assaulted her. The Sacred Heart University student said she was at an off-campus house party in Bridgeport when the assault occurred in a bathroom of the home. One of the alleged assailants was also a student at the university, and a football player, and the second was a former student. According to the police department’s website, “BPD detectives conducted a thorough investigation and met several times with SHU administrators. Initial statements from witnesses and evidence recovered from the scene suggested that a sexual assault had occurred. As the investigation continued, the case detective received more information that contradicted Yovino’s statements to police. This new information included new witness accounts, text messages and cell phone video. Yovino was confronted with this evidence, and admitted that she, in fact, did have consensual sex with both males.”
The police department’s website also states that with this admission, probable cause existed to charge the woman with a false report and tampering with evidence. A warrant was issued, and after being informed of the warrant, Yovino turned herself into the police Feb. 21.
Yovino’s attorney, Mark Sherman, expects his client to plead not guilty at a March 3 arraignment. According to the Stamford-based criminal lawyer, he would not be able to comment further about the case until he was provided with police reports and video footage.
“The details of what happened here will come out at the appropriate time during the court process,” the lawyer wrote in an email.
Kimberly A. Primicerio, assistant director of media relations for Sacred Heart University couldn’t confirm whether or not Yovino is still enrolled at the school, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act that prevents providing information about specific students.
“I can say that some of the early information that was released is inaccurate,” she wrote in an email. “Sacred Heart never expelled the two students nor was any student stripped of scholarships because of any allegations. Whenever there is any kind of incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties involved. The way that this particular case is playing out certainly demonstrates the validity of our procedures.”