Lawyer confident Mystikal will be cleared on rape charge
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The attorney who represented Mystikal on rape and kidnapping charges that were dropped in late 2020 said Thursday that he is once more representing the 51-year-old rapper — and is confident that he will again be cleared.
“I think there’s zero chance this goes to trial,” Joel Pearce said as he drove back to Shreveport from the Ascension Parish jail in Gonzales, where he met with Michael Tyler.
Tyler, who served six years in prison after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexual battery, was arrested Sunday on charges accusing him of raping and choking a woman at his home Saturday.
Pearce represented him in December 2020, when prosecutors in northwest Louisiana’s Caddo Parish dropped rape and kidnapping charges that had kept him jailed for 18 months
On Tuesday, Tyler was denied bond at what is called a “72-hour hearing.”
State District Judge Steven Tureau said evidence against the rapper, his past history and the victim’s fears met the standard for holding him without bail
“There was no evidence given on my client’s part,” Pearce said. He said he will request a full bond hearing at which evidence can be presented.
Defense attorney Roy Maughan Jr., who had asked for $250,000 bond, told The Advocate after Tuesday’s hearing that Tyler probably wouldn’t appeal the bond ruling.
Maughan is no longer on the case, Pearce said. He said he is working with Timothy Yazbeck of New Orleans, who worked with him on the Caddo Parish case.
He said he will also ask for what’s called a preliminary examination. Tyler “hasn’t been indicted, so we get to test the state’s case. It’s a little mini-trial,” Pearce said.
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.
“He never threatened her, never choked her,” Pearce said.
Sheriff’s Detective Garrett Keith testified that the woman went to Tyler’s home Saturday night to talk about alleged financial commitments he had made to her.
According to the detective, Tyler’s behavior reportedly changed abruptly after he went into the bathroom and returned: He accused her of stealing cash, choked her and pulled out her hair.
Keith also said she had many cuts and bruises.
“I want to see the actual medical report,” Pearce said.
He said he also will be looking for a protective order that Tyler told him he was granted against the woman about eight years ago.
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY