Mystikal Indicted on First-Degree Rape, Faces Life Sentence

Mystikal has been indicted on a first-degree rape charge over an alleged attack at his home in Prairieville, LA, on July 30.

He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

via NOLA:

The Ascension Parish grand jury handed up the rape charge and nine other criminal counts Tuesday in Gonzales against Mystikal, whose given name is Michael Lawrence Tyler.

Ascension sheriff’s deputies have accused Tyler of imprisoning, strangling, raping and robbing a woman during a financial dispute at his home in the northern Ascension community.

Tyler has also been charged with single counts of simple criminal damage to property, false imprisonment, domestic abuse battery by strangulation, simple robbery, possession of heroin, illegal possession of Xanax, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, two indictments against him say.

Attorney for Mystikal, Roy Maughan Jr., speaks Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, about no bail ruling

Tyler, 51, remained Wednesday in Ascension Parish Prison without bail. His former attorney has disputed the allegations.

Since a bail hearing last month, Tyler has disavowed that attorney and hired others, including a Shreveport lawyer who represented him over 2017 rape accusations for which prosecutors later dropped the charges and freeing him then from an 18-month imprisonment.

“It’s an indictment,” Joel Pearce, the attorney, said on Wednesday. “It means nothing. We look forward to our day in court.”

When he appeared in court last month seeking to get Tyler bail, the previous attorney, Roy Maughan Jr., pointed out that an Ascension sheriff’s detective acknowledged Tyler’s accuser had been in a longstanding relationship with him at least since the late 1990s. He had never before been accused of attacking her, Maughan said.

But Judge Steven Tureau of the 23rd Judicial District Court wasn’t convinced and held Tyler without bail.

Pearce, the new lawyer, has been trying to have a hearing to reconsider the bail ruling, but one hasn’t been set yet.

Pearce also wanted a special pre-trial hearing to examine some of the prosecutors’ case.
After the indictment, it may be harder for Pearce to get that second hearing, known as a preliminary exam, because it performs similar functions as the grand jury process does.

During a grand jury proceeding, a panel of local residents hears testimony in secret and decides whether law enforcement’s case against a defendant meets a minimum threshold to continue.

With the indictment against Tyler on Tuesday, the grand jury has concluded authorities met that minimum level of “probable cause.”

For conviction, a trial jury will have to decide prosecutors met the much tougher standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In a warrant, Ascension sheriff’s deputies have accused Tyler of attacking the woman in a violent encounter the night of July 30, during which he took her car keys and held her against her will, raped and strangled her, and, at one point, prayed with her to remove her “bad spirits.”

The drug charges stem from narcotics found in Tyler’s home after his arrest and claims from the victim that she had seen a white crystalline substance in the home.

The drug charges and the rape and other assault charges were handed up through two separate indictments on the same day.

Tyler is a lifetime registered sex offender after his 2003 conviction for sexual assault and extortion.

He has had several other arrests since the mid-1990s for marijuana possession, misdemeanor domestic violence and first-degree rape, but none has led to a conviction.

Tyler rose to national fame in the 1990s and is best known for his 2000 hit single “Shake (It Fast).” On the strength of that song, Tyler’s 2000 album “Let’s Get Ready” sold more than a million copies.

While Tyler no longer has a contract with a major record label, he has continued to perform and had a weekly schedule of tour dates for the next several months before his arrest on July 31.

He was nominated for two Grammy awards in early 2003. But his career was derailed soon after by his sexual assault conviction, which jailed him until early 2010.

Things aren’t looking too good for Mr. Mystikal.

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