A Louisiana grand jury on Wednesday indicted rapper Mystikal on first-degree rape charges, according to reports.
The alleged sexual assault occurred on July 30, when authorities say the rapper, whose name is Michael Lawrence Tyler, held a woman against her will in his Prairieville home, according to The New Orleans Advocate. Mystikal is now facing a mandatory life sentence under state law if convicted, Rolling Stone reported.
“It’s an indictment,” his attorney Joel Pearce said Wednesday. “It means nothing. We look forward to our day in court.”
The 51-year-old rapper was arrested on July 31 and has been held at the Ascension Parish Jail ever since. He faces nine other criminal counts including domestic abuse battery by strangulation, robbery, criminal damage to property, several drug-related offenses and false imprisonment.
An Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told Baton Rouge CBS affiliate WAFB that detectives interviewed the accuser at a local hospital shortly after the alleged assault. She not only bore injuries consistent with her claims, but identified Mystikal as her assailant, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff’s Det. Garrett Keith testified on Aug. 2 that the woman visited Mystikal’s home at 8 p.m. on July 30 to discuss alleged financial dealings they made, according to The Associated Press. Keith said she told him Mystikal choked her, apologized, cleansed her of “bad spirits” with rubbing alcohol and raped her.
Mystikal fired his first attorney when a judge denied him bond during a hearing in August. He ultimately hired Pearce, who represented Mystikal during another sexual assault case in 2017.
The rapper has been charged with first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping before.
In 2016, a woman alleged Mystikal raped her while she was intoxicated. The rapper was held in jail for 18 months, beginning in August 2017, before being released on a $3 million bond in 2019 after new evidence was presented to a second grand jury. The charges were dismissed in 2020, according to the AP.
Mystikal also previously pleaded guilty to and was convicted of sexual battery in 2003. He spent six years in prison for the crime and is a lifetime registered sex offender. He was sentenced to 90 days for domestic abuse in 2012.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.