False accusations of rape are becoming all too common on college campuses, thanks in large part to media and activists insisting no one lies about such a heinous crime.
To ensure that everyone must “listen and believe” all accusers, these same activists — and their supporters in media and government — have forced college campuses to set up their own tribunals to punish the accused without providing due process.
These activists claim police don’t take these cases seriously, and instead of working to fix problems in the justice system (which no one is suggesting is perfect), they believe an even more flawed system is necessary to help accusers. This separate system, which only benefits those privileged enough to attend college, doesn’t require anything more than an accusation to find someone responsible.
But because of this mentality, too many students have been empowered to make false accusations. When those accusations go to the police (which isn’t the norm anymore), the accusers often face punishment for false reports. This is what happened to Nikki Yovino of New York when she accused two Sacred Heart University football players of raping her in a basement during a party.
When police questioned Yovino about inconsistencies in her accusation — bolstered by witness statements alleging she went into the bathroom willingly and even told the men she wanted to have sex with them — Yovino admitted making up the claim to win the affection of another man.
“She admitted that she made up the allegation of sexual assault against [the football players] because it was the first thing that came to mind and she didn’t want to lose [another male student] as a friend and potential boyfriend,” police wrote in the arrest warrant affadavit. “She stated that she believed when [the other male student] heard the allegation, it would make him angry and sympathetic to her.”
This is similar to the case of “Jackie,” who told Rolling Stone magazine she had been gang-raped by a group of University of Virginia fraternity men. It turned out that she made the entire story up to win the affections of a young man who was not interested in her even after she previously attempted to elicit sympathy from him by claiming to be terminally ill. Rolling Stone has since been sued by multiple parties and was ordered to pay a University of Virginia administrator $3 million for the hoax.
Could we be seeing a new problem on college campuses – a “Jackie Syndrome,” in which young women make up accusations in order to win the affections of other men? The Rolling Stone story and this case from New York are hardly the only examples.
Yovino’s lawyer denied that she made up the story, telling the Connecticut Post that she “stands by her original story.”
Sacred Heart University also has come out in defense of itself and its policies. Deb Noack, the school’s communications director, told the Post in a statement that the two students were never expelled nor stripped of their scholarships by the university, as had been originally reported. But it appears the students did lose their football scholarships during the ordeal, causing them to withdraw from the school. (One student has returned.)
Both accused students said the sex was consensual and witnesses backed up their claims.
Yovino was charged with second-degree false reporting and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. The latter charge carries a punishment of up to five years if she’s found guilty (police have not revealed how she tampered with evidence).
Ashe Schow is the campus culture reporter for Watchdog.org. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @AsheSchow.