He was convicted of rape and related charges in 1992, according to his prison records, and is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to Megan’s Law. Tyson served only three years of his prison sentence after a judge sentenced him to serve 10 years behind bars.
A new documentary, “Mike Tyson: The Knockout,” digs into his speckled past and how it led him to become a legendary heavyweight champion. The two-part documentary airs on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern time May 25 and June 1, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Tyson Was Convicted of Rape in 1992 But Served Only 3 Years of His 10 Year Sentence
Tyson faced a slew of charges in 1991 after he was accused of raping an 18-year-old beauty queen, Desiree Washington, his prison record shows. He was charged in Marion County, Indiana with one count of rape, two counts of criminal deviate conduct and one count of criminal confinement in 1991, according to his prison record. Washington was a Miss Black America contestant at the time.
Here is his prison record:
Indiana Monthly reported on the highly publicized trial and its historical context.
“His arraignment on September 11 set the stage for one of the most publicized legal battles in modern history. On the heels of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill confrontation and the William Kennedy Smith date-rape trial, the proceedings would attract more than 400 broadcasters and reporters from the United States and 13 foreign countries,” Indiana Monthly reported. “Tyson was represented by Vincent Fuller, a well-known defense lawyer from the prestigious Williams and Connolly law firm of Washington, D.C.; Fuller reportedly earned $5,000 per day. The state of Indiana countered with special prosecutor Greg Garrison, a fiery, red-haired trial lawyer who hadn’t lost a case since 1973.”
Tyson was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison with four years suspended for each of the three counts, his prison record shows. A judge ordered the sentences be served concurrently. He was also ordered to pay a maximum $30,000 fine, the news outlet reported. He was ultimately released after three years for good behavior, although he was on probation for four years following his release, according to The New York Times.
Tyson Denies That He Raped Washington; He Is a Registered Sex Offender for Life
Another aspect of Tyson’s sentence requires him to register as a sex offender for life, his sexual offender registration indicates.
Some states require that he register with authorities when he visits the state, My Plainview in Texas reported in 2002. The newspaper discussed a time he was required to register with law enforcement in San Antonio when he trained there briefly in 2001.
The newspaper said he applied for a license to box in Texas so he could fight Lennox Lewis. Texas law requires people convicted of sex crimes to register with authorities if they visit the state, the news outlet reported.
“Mike always registers, Mike always tries to fulfill his obligations,” his attorney, Darrow Soll, told the newspaper.
Tyson continues to claim innocence, and told MMA NYTT in 2020, “I did not violate that woman.”