Louisiana Rapper Mystikal free on $3M bond in rape case

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SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Mystikal, a Louisiana rapper who had been in custody for nearly 1½ years on a rape charge, has been released on a $3 million bond.

The artist, whose real name is Michael Tyler, was freed Wednesday from a Shreveport area correctional complex, local news outlets report.

Tyler, 48, of New Orleans, surrendered in August 2017 when he learned there was a warrant out for his arrest. Tyler was accused of a sexual assault at a Shreveport casino in October 2016 and was indicted on charges of first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping.

Tyler said he’s pleased to be out. He is best known for his 2000 hit, “Shake (it Fast),” which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. His 2000 album “Let’s Get Ready” went multiplatinum.

“It’s a test of faith, you know, walk of faith,” Tyler said after being released. “Sometimes you have to open up the circumstances and it’ll be a walk of faith. This thing here, it could be a tomb where you’re sitting in there deteriorating or it could be a cocoon where you can come out of that thing, I don’t want to say a butterfly, but you could be a hero when you come out of there.”

His attorney, Joel Pearce, said Tyler’s trial is scheduled for May and that he looks forward to clearing the rapper’s name.

He said that “ultimately whenever the district attorney begins looking at what the facts of the case actually are it’s ultimately gonna be a dismissal.”

“I mean this never happened,” Pearce added.

His lawyers told KTBS-TV they believe they have enough evidence, including video footage, to show Tyler did not commit the alleged crimes.

Jail officials said Tyler’s release was delayed somewhat this week because the bonding agency he used was not initially approved to bond Tyler out, and then there were issues with completing the paperwork.

Rick Farris with the Caddo Correctional Center where Tyler was held said such delays can happen.

“It’s not uncommon that bondsmen come here and is not approved to bond people out and have to go downtown and get all the right paperwork filed with the clerk’s office,” Farris said.

Two other people indicted on other charges arising from the case are still being held at the correctional center, according to jail records.

Tyler previously pleaded guilty in 2003 to charges that he forced his then-hairstylist to perform sex acts on him and two bodyguards. He was released from a Louisiana prison in 2010 after serving six years for sexual battery and extortion.