Mystikal Enters Plea in Sexual Assault and Drug Cases

Rapper Mystikal has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and false imprisonment related to his July 31 arrest, reported ABC News. He is accused of raping and choking a woman at his Louisiana home and possessing several drugs. If convicted of first-degree rape, the 51-year-old performer, whose real name is Michael Tyler, faces life in prison. Arrest records indicate Tyler attacked a woman after accusing her of stealing $100. As she searched for the missing money, the woman claimed to have found a "crystalline substance." Tyler asked if he could "feel" the woman afterward. He allegedly forced her on a bed and raped her when she refused. 

Other charges include simple criminal damage to property, false imprisonment, domestic abuse, battery by strangulation, simple robbery, possession of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and Xanax, and possession of drug paraphernalia. During an interview with ABC News after the arraignment, Tyler's lawyer Joel Pearce explained that the rapper is innocent of all charges. "My client doesn't even do drugs, so he has absolutely no idea what they were talking about," Pearce told the outlet.

Tyler is currently being held without bond, but his Oct. 17 hearing may discuss that issue. According to Pearce, prosecutors plan to introduce Tyler's 2003 guilty plea to sexual battery and extortion as evidence of his criminal history. Tyler, his hair stylist, and two bodyguards had previously videotaped themselves performing sex acts. In 2003, Sue Bernie, the prosecutor in that case, said the woman told investigators Tyler accused her of stealing $80,000 worth of checks and told her he wouldn't report her if she did anything "degrading," ABC News reported. 

Bernie said that the woman denied that she had stolen any money. According to court records, Tyler paid $350,000 to the woman before sentencing. The same year he was nominated for two Grammy awards, he was sentenced to six years in prison. Despite not knowing what the woman who is now accusing Tyler was robbed of, Pearce said he believes the criminal damage charge refers to a broken Apple watch band.

Pearce represented Tyler on 2017 rape and kidnapping charges that prosecutors dropped in northwest Louisiana in December 2020. Tyler was incarcerated for nearly 18 months before he was released on $3 million bond. "People keep saying it's his third time to be charged" with rape, Pearce said, explaining that Tyler pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in Baton Rouge. "And in Caddo Parish, after a grand jury indicted him, they un-indicted him." 

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Tyler told The Associated Press in April 2021 that he wanted to leave behind the sexually-charged songs that characterized his past after spending more than four years under the "bad dream" of rape and kidnapping charges. "When I look back and listen to the music, man — I was a nasty lil' rapper!" he told The AP. "A lot of my music now, I imagine myself rapping it to God and if I can rap it, I'm proud."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.