New Orleans rapper Mystikal arrested on first-degree rape charges in Ascension Parish
New Orleans native Michael Tyler, 51, known as rapper Mystikal, was arrested in Ascension Parish for first-degree rape on Sunday night.
The Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies spoke with the sexual assault victim who sustained minor injuries at the local hospital on Sunday night. In addition to the rape charges, Tyler was arrested for felony domestic abuse by strangulation and other counts in a suburban Baton Rouge parish where he currently resides.
The 51-year-old rapper rose to national fame in the 1990s and is known best for his 2000 hit single "Shake Ya Ass" off his album "Let's Get Ready" that sold more than 1 million copies.
After winning two Grammy awards in 2003, Tyler's career was derailed after pleading guilty to forcing his hairstylist to perform what a judge called "continuous sex acts" that dated from July 2002.
The victim accused Tyler and his two bodyguards of forcing her to perform oral sex after accusing her of stealing $80,000 worth of his checks. The woman denied the theft allegations. Authorities obtained a video of the attack that was locked in a safe in the rapper's then-apartment.
Tyler served a six-year term in state prison for sexual battery and extortion and was released in 2010, while the two bodyguards served three and four-year sentences.
In 2012, Tyler was back in jail for three months for a domestic abuse charge against his partner of 10 years, with whom he has two children. The arrest violated Tyler's five-year probation from his previous extortion case.
In addition to the domestic abuse charges, Tyler would go on to plead guilty to two federal misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns for the $1.7 million he earned in 1998 and 1999.
In the fall of 2018, Tyler and an accomplice were charged by a Shreveport grand jury for first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping. After 18 months in jail the charges were dropped in December of 2020 after a second grand jury reviewed additional evidence and did not charge Tyler again.
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In an interview with the Associated Press that published in April 2021, Tyler stated he was trying to take a different direction with his life and rap career.
In the interview, Tyler said he had learned from his past and that he's got to "stay out the water because it's sharks in that water . . . in other words, don't put yourself in situations where things like this can happen. I'm too old for that."
Tyler will also be facing charges for simple robbery, false imprisonment and simple criminal damage to property in addition to the rape and domestic abuse charges. He is currently awaiting the bail setting while in Ascension Parish Prison.
Meredith G. White is the arts and culture reporter for the Shreveport Times. You can find her on Facebook as Meredith G. White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite, and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.