the law

Rapper Mystikal Arrested, Accused of Rape

Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images

New Orleans rapper Mystikal, whose real name is Michael Tyler, was arrested on July 31 and is facing five criminal charges: first-degree rape, false imprisonment, domestic abuse, battery and strangulation, and robbery and damage to property.

According to the New Orleans sheriff’s office, the story began when deputies reported to an area hospital on Saturday, July 30, to investigate an alleged sexual assault. The victim, who reportedly suffered physical injuries including bruises and cuts and was wearing damaged clothing, identified the 51-year-old rapper as her assailant. According to the sheriff’s warrant, the victim accused the rapper of sexually assaulting her and becoming violent, beating her and pulling her hair braids before apologizing and asking that they pray together. “He had her kneel with him beside his bed as they prayed for a few minutes,” the report said.

The rapper has been accused of sexual assault multiple times since the early aughts. In 2017, he spent 18 months in jail on rape and kidnapping charges before being released on a $3 million bond. The charges were eventually dropped after a grand jury refused to bring an indictment. He also served six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery and extortion in 2003. At the time, he was accused of forcing his hairstylist to perform sexual acts on him and his bodyguards on video after he accused her of stealing money from him.

In April 2021, Mystikal talked about his prior assault allegations, admitting that at least one of these sexual encounters did occur in 2016, but he said it was consensual. According to police reports, a woman accused Mystikal of giving her drinks that led her to lose consciousness. DNA evidence showed that despite his claims of innocence at the time, he did have an intimate encounter with her.

He would later tell the Associated Press, “I learned from the first situation,” and he was committed not to get into “situations where things like this can happen.”

The rap star rose to fame in the ’90s when he joined Master P’s No Limit Records, eventually scoring hits with “Make ’Em Say Uhhh” and “It Aint My Fault 2.” His best-known tracks include “Danger (Been So Long)” and “Shake Ya Ass,” featuring Pharrell, which earned a Grammy nomination in 2001. Mystikal was nominated for two more Grammys two years later for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Album. His 2000 album Let’s Get Ready sold more than a million copies.

Mystikal’s latest project was the track “Feel Right” with Mark Ronson in 2015 for Ronson’s studio album Uptown Special. The rapper was featured in the video with Florence Henderson from The Brady Bunch.

As of August 1, Mystikal has been booked and is being held at Ascension Parish Jail without bond. He is already listed as a registered sex offender in Louisiana.

Neither he nor his attorneys have made statements about his latest arrest at press time.

Rapper Mystikal Arrested, Accused of Rape