Rapper Mystikal pleads not guilty to rape, drug possession

Rapper Mystikal pleads not guilty to rape, drug possession

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Grammy-nominated rapper Mystikal on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of raping and asphyxiating a woman at his Louisiana home and of possession of several drugs.

The 51-year-old artist whose first name is Michael Tyler is innocent of all charges, attorney Joel Pearce said after being arraigned at Ascension Parish Court in Gonzales, about 15 miles from Baton Rouge.

The charges include first-degree rape, which carries an automatic life sentence.

Pearce said he was unable to obtain copies of the two charges, but they have been read aloud in court.

The charges also include simple criminal property damage, false imprisonment, domestic violence by strangulation, simple robbery, possession of heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and Xanax, and possession of drug paraphernalia, he said.

“My client doesn’t even do drugs, so he has absolutely no idea what they were talking about,” Pearce said in a telephone interview during his 400-mile drive from Gonzales to Shreveport.

He said bail could be discussed at a hearing on Oct. 17. Prosecutors said they plan to put forward Tyler’s 2003 plea of ​​guilty to sexual battery and extortion as evidence of past crimes, Pearce said.

Tyler and two bodyguards had filmed themselves having sex with Tyler’s hairstylist. The prosecutor in that case, Sue Bernie, said in 2003 that the woman told investigators that Tyler accused her of stealing his checks worth $80,000 and that he would not go to the police if she saw something “humiliating.” would do. The woman denied stealing money, Bernie said.

A letter in court records before Tyler’s sentencing stated that he paid the woman $350,000.

He spent six years in prison for that conviction, which came the same year he was nominated for two Grammy awards. He also received a Grammy nomination in 2001.

Pearce said he doesn’t know what the woman Tyler is now accusing was allegedly robbed, but the criminal damage charge accuses him of breaking her Apple Watch band.

Pearce represented Tyler on the rape and kidnapping charges dropped by prosecutors in northwestern Louisiana in December 2020. Those charges, filed in 2017, had Tyler imprisoned for nearly 18 months before being released on a $3 million bond.

“People keep saying it’s his third time he’s been charged” with rape, Pearce said, but Tyler pleaded guilty to a lower charge in Baton Rouge. “And in Caddo Parish, after a grand jury indicted him, they undone him.”

Mystikal told The Associated Press in April 2021 that he used to be “a nasty little rapper,” but now he’s proud of lyrics he can imagine rapping to God.

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