Associated Press Reporters
A judge has refused to set any bond for rapper Mystikal, who is accused of raping and choking a woman at his home in Louisiana.
State District Judge Steven Tureau ruled that evidence against the 51-year-old, real name Michael Tyler, his history and the victim’s fears met the standard for holding him without bail, The Advocate reported.
Tyler served six years in prison after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexual battery. In December 2020, prosecutors in Caddo Parish, north-west Louisiana, dropped rape and kidnapping charges that had kept him jailed for 18 months.
He was not convicted of other charges, including marijuana possession and misdemeanour domestic violence, that had been brought against him since the mid-1990s, the newspaper reported.
Defence lawyer Roy Maughan Jr, who had asked for a bond of $250,000, maintained that Tyler is innocent of the most recent charges, including rape and domestic abuse battery by strangulation, but told the newspaper after the hearing that Tyler will probably not appeal against the bond ruling.
Mr Maughan failed to get the court record to reflect that Tyler made all of his court dates in those cases and, as a celebrity, would have a hard time evading capture if he fled.
He had been released on a $3 million bond in February 2019, nearly two years before the Caddo Parish charges were dropped.
Mystikal, who grew up in New Orleans and now lives in Prairieville, is accused of attacking the woman, taking her keys and holding her against her will, according to an arrest warrant.
Sheriff’s Detective Garrett Keith told the court on Tuesday that the woman went to Tyler’s home on Saturday to talk about alleged financial commitments he had made to her.
He said the woman reported that Tyler’s behaviour changed abruptly after he went into the bathroom and returned, accusing her of stealing cash, choking her and pulling out her hair.
Tyler later apologised, prayed with her and threw rubbing alcohol on her to cleanse her “bad spirits” before raping her, Mr Keith said.
Mr Maughan’s cross-examination tried to show that the prayer and apology indicated that things were calmer and the woman was not afraid, the newspaper reported.
Mr Keith later told prosecutors the woman was “praying for her safety” and did not know what Tyler said.
The woman was cut and bruised, and officers found some of her braids, an earring and a broken nail in the house, the detective said. Some wounds were consistent with rape, he added.
Mr Maughan cross-examined Mr Keith about whether and how the woman had objected to sex. Mr Keith quoted her as saying Tyler’s threats had made her afraid to object at first, but she later clearly told him “no”.