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Star boxer Mike Tyson convicted of rape


Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, accused of raping 18-year-old beauty-pageant contestant Desiree Washington, is found guilty by an Indiana jury. The following month, Tyson was given a 10-year prison sentence, with four years suspended.

Mike Tyson rose to fame in 1986 when he beat Trevor Berbick and became, at age 20, the youngest heavyweight champ in boxing history. Born June 30, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York, Tyson had a troubled childhood and was sent to reform school in upstate New York. There, his boxing talent was discovered and he flourished under the tutelage of legendary trainer Cus D’Amato. Tyson turned pro in 1985 and the following year became heavyweight champ, a title he retained until 1990, when he was upset by James “Buster” Douglas.

In July 1991, Tyson met Desiree Washington at a rehearsal for the Miss Black America pageant in Indianapolis. Washington accompanied Tyson back to his hotel room, where, in the early hours of July 19, Washington claimed he raped her. Tyson claimed the sex was consensual. The world-famous fighter was indicted by a grand jury in September of that year and convicted in February 1992. In March, he began serving his term at the Indiana Youth Center near Plainfield, Indiana. He was released, after serving three years, in March 1995.

Post-prison, Tyson briefly recaptured the heavyweight title in 1996. However, the notorious pugilist continued to court controversy. In 1997, during a bout against Evander Holyfield, Tyson bit off a piece of the heavyweight champ’s ear; as a result, his boxing license was temporarily revoked. Tyson also had run-ins with the law and spent several months in jail for assaulting motorists after a traffic accident. Additionally, he battled drug addiction and faced financial problems after squandering the multi-million dollar fortune he had amassed. Tyson’s professional career ended in 2005, when he quit during the middle of a bout against Kevin McBride.


The truth behind Mike Tyson conviction revealed

Desiree Washington became a renowned name in the tabloids after she accused Mike Tyson of raping her in 1991. Mike Tyson, the heavyweight boxing champion, was sentenced to six years in prison in 1991 despite disputing the allegations.

In the last episode of "Mike Tyson: The Knockout," a two-part ABC documentary broadcast on May 25 and June 1, 2021, Mike Tyson's conviction for the rape of Desiree Washington takes center stage.

James Voyles, Tyson's defense attorney, and special prosecutor Greg Garrison are among many who have been interviewed about the case, which is still one of the most talked-about celebrity cases in American history.

“The first 'Oh, no' moment was an entire city block lined up with satellite trucks. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, ESPN, all these. It's a big time”, prosecutor Greg Garrison expressed his concerns by saying that it was making him sick.

That was only a foreshadowing of Desiree Washington's grit and bravery in court when she was 18 years old and facing a beloved boxer who had raped her.

“There was this quiet gasp in the gallery”, Washington's testimony was recounted by Garrison. “She was 106 pounds. Just a delicate, little thing, and so the juxtaposition of him at 240 pounds and her at 18 years old was pretty powerful stuff.”

One thing the documentary makes apparent is that the topic of date rape in America would not have been as publicly explored and addressed if Washington's testimony and ability to describe what happened to her had not been available.

Desiree Washington accused the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world of rapping her in his room at the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis, and he was arrested and prosecuted in 1991.


Mike Tyson, Former Boxer and Convicted Rapist, Makes Charming Film With Spike Lee

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth affords Mike Tyson yet another big opportunity to open up. Spike Lee‘s new film (premiering Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HBO) documents the controversial boxing legend’s one-man Broadway show. Tyson&mdashsharply dressed, sweaty, charismatic&mdashcommands the stage for an hour and a half, dishing on his public and private ups and downs. (The show was written by his wife, Kiki Tyson.)

“I came from the gutter,” he says to the packed theater. He discusses (in full-on emotional vulnerability mode) his rough childhood and deaths in the family his star-making fights and his history of substance abuse his adrenaline rushes and his rude awakenings. He cracks a lot of cheap jokes, including one about Mitt Romney‘s whiteness and one about George Zimmerman.

This documentary and one-man show are the latest steps in his years-long effort to reinvent himself. Instead of a drug-addled, off-putting, ear-chomping fighter, he’s now a sensitive, vegan funnyman who writes for New York magazine, appears in the Hangover franchise, dances with Neil Patrick Harris and Bring It On cheerleaders, and makes fun of Oscar-bait and George W. Bush with Jimmy Kimmel:

Tyson’s life story&mdashthe grit, the career renaissance&mdashis no doubt compelling. But there is a hugely significant part of his “truth” that is very much disputed. On stage, Tyson ever so briefly addresses his 1992 rape conviction. Tyson served three years in prison for the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant. Medical examination following the incident found Washington’s physical state to be consistent with rape. High-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz tried and failed to get him off on an appeal, and Tyson maintained that the encounter was consensual and that Washington had a history of crying rape. “I did not rape [her],” Tyson says to the applauding New York audience in Undisputed Truth. (What makes this more awkward is that, in the same performance, Tyson jokes about not knowing whether to beat or sexually attack young pretty-boy Brad Pitt, who he once caught supposedly having an affair with ex-wife Robin Givens.)

“How do you rape someone when they come to your hotel room at two in the morning?” Tyson has written, in what has got to be one of the all-time worst rebuttals to serious accusations of brutal rape.

Tyson’s repeated denials seem to have worked, at least in the eyes of his famous friends, his supporters, and his many fans. Even before his revival in recent years, he was visited in prison by Whitney Houston, John Kennedy, Jr., Larry King, Al Sharpton, and Tupac Shakur, among others.
Nowadays, he’s part of a popular culture that appears to have absolved him or simply forgotten what landed him in prison. In an episode of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that aired in February, Tyson played a murderer on death row who is also a victim of rape. Evidently, the thought of having a convicted rapist portray a rape victim wasn’t enough for the network to derail this bit of stunt-casting. (NBC did, however, change the episode’s air date to ensure that it didn’t premiere on the eve of One Billion Rising, a worldwide protest against rape and violence against women.)

The fact that a society quickly forgives celebrities for crimes and bad behavior shouldn’t come as news to anyone. Depressingly enough, the tendency to disregard sometimes extends to rape and sexual assault. Acclaimed director Roman Polanski&mdashwho raped a 13-year-old&mdashcan still freely win an Academy Award, work with Kate Winslet, get defended by Martin Scorsese, and comically torture Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker on-screen. The entertainment industry and too many of its patrons maintain an exceedingly high threshold for indefensibility. And in the case of Undisputed Truth, a convicted rapist owns the night as a beloved icon, a good storyteller, and an apparently gentle giant.

Horrible crimes don’t automatically disqualify an artist or performer’s contribution. But rape isn’t something an unrepentant soul should ever get to live down.


Tyson Is Sued for Damages by Rape Victim : Jurisprudence: Attorney says she files lawsuit because boxer has shown a glib attitude and lack of remorse for crime.

The woman Mike Tyson is convicted of raping filed a civil lawsuit against him Monday because of what her attorney said was the boxer’s glib attitude and lack of remorse.

The suit filed by attorneys for Desiree Washington, 19, of Coventry, R.I., seeks unspecified damages for assault, battery, false imprisonment and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

“Ms. Washington decided to bring this case only after much soul-searching,” said Deval L. Patrick, a Boston attorney representing Washington. “She wants to put this sordid episode behind her and move on with her life.”

Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard University law professor handling Tyson’s appeal, said the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court demonstrated Washington’s greed and ambition.

“We couldn’t be happier because it finally gives us a vehicle for bringing out the whole truth, for deposing Desiree Washington and for exposing her for what she is: a money-grubbing phony who has done this--as we suspected right from the beginning--for the money,” he said.

The former heavyweight champion was sentenced to six years in prison for raping Washington in his Indianapolis hotel room last July. Tyson, 25, is incarcerated at the Indiana Youth Center in Plainfield.

The suit claims Tyson willfully and maliciously caused Washington to suffer physical pain, emotional distress, terror and trauma.

During the trial, Tyson’s attorneys predicted Washington would use a conviction to win monetary damages from him in a civil suit.

Dershowitz compared Washington to Tyson’s former wife, actress Robin Givens, and “the parade of women who have brought false claims against Mike to collect money.”

“We were just waiting for her true colors to show through. I predicted right from the beginning that this is a pot-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow suit,” he said.

Patrick said Washington hoped to regain her self-worth and well-being by winning further sanctions against Tyson. He also criticized the boxer’s lack of remorse during his sentencing hearing and in a televised interview on CBS-TV’s “Street Stories” last week.

“Ms. Washington wants and needs to face her anguish head on, but the glib, disrespectful and remorseless attitude of Mr. Tyson keeps staring back at her,” Patrick said.

Washington would not comment on the lawsuit, he said.

Washington, a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant in Indianapolis, claimed Tyson lured her to his hotel room early July 19 and raped and sodomized her, ignoring her efforts to escape and her pleas for him to stop.

Tyson claimed she willingly had sex with him and then reacted angrily when he refused to escort her to his limousine.

Dershowitz is appealing to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which is not expected to issue a decision for several months.

An inmate, James Bell Yager, said Monday that a national prisoner advocacy group believes Tyson should be released on probation because Indiana prison employees are exploiting and profiting by his incarceration.

Yager said prison employees have sold surveillance tapes to a national tabloid and profited by giving Tyson special food and preferential treatment in exchange for money.

Prison spokesman Kevin Moore said he had no evidence of such abuse, but acknowledged that the possibility exists and said an investigation is continuing.


The Decision: Mike Tyson’s Rape Trial, 25 Years Later

It was kind of a big deal. In 1991, Indiana Black Expo was set to host the Miss Black America pageant during its Summer Celebration, and among the celebrities in town to partake in the festivities was one of the most famous athletes in the world: Mike Tyson.

Even if Tyson’s stardom was undisputed, his career and personal life were on the ropes. In a 1988 interview on 20/20, his wife, actress Robin Givens, had alleged that she was the victim of spousal abuse. She filed for divorce a week later. In 1990, Tyson lost his heavyweight boxing title to James “Buster” Douglas, an upset for the ages.

A photo of Washington entered into evidence in the trial.

But the knockout blow came in Indianapolis. Early in the morning on July 19, 1991, Tyson invited Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, up to his room at the Canterbury Hotel. A day later, she checked into the emergency room at Methodist Hospital and reported that she had been raped.

Tyson stood trial before Judge Patricia Gifford in Indianapolis starting on January 27, 1992, defended by Vincent Fuller and Kathleen Beggs, big-shot attorneys from the Washington, D.C., firm Williams & Connolly, and local lawyer James Voyles. Indianapolis attorney Gregory Garrison signed on as special prosecutor, joined by Barbara Trathen from the Marion County Prosecutor’s office.

The second big legal fight in this modern era of celebrity trials—after the 1991 William Kennedy Smith rape trial in Florida and before the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial in California—the Tyson matter had all the attendant hoopla and tabloid twists we’ve come to expect from such affairs. To wit: Shortly after Washington’s allegation, the pageant’s owner filed a civil suit that accused the boxer of being a “serial buttocks fondler of black women.” And partway through the trial, a fire at the Indianapolis Athletic Club, where the jurors were sequestered, killed a hotel guest and two firemen.

The case also provided a ring for a slugfest of societal issues: the inequity faced by black male defendants in America’s criminal justice system, and attitudes toward what constituted consent in cases of “date rape.”

On February 10, the jury returned a guilty verdict on one count of rape and two counts of criminal deviate conduct. An appeal led by “lawyer of last resort” Alan Dershowitz was unsuccessful—“White folks refuse to admit when they make a mistake,” said Black Expo president Rev. Charles Williams—and Tyson served three years with the Indiana Department of Correction.

But for the Indianapolis residents who witnessed—and helped shape—celebrity-trial history, life went on after the main event left town. Here, 25 years later, they tell their side of the story.

THE WEIGH-IN

“We have a gag rule concerning the court date. But Mike will fight before then.” — boxing promoter Don King at an October 1991 press conference

Jim Voyles: I received a call from Vince Fuller shortly after the allegations surfaced. He asked if I’d be local counsel in Tyson’s case. I agreed.

What prosecutors like to do in these kinds of high-profile cases is present ’em to grand juries, because if the grand jury indicts, it’s not the prosecutor taking on the case, it’s the citizens. It was my recommendation that if Mike got a target subpoena, he should not go to the grand jury. Presenting a target to a grand jury is very problematic. You’re kind of giving a roadmap to the prosecution about your testimony. You’re hoping that whatever the target can say will convince them that there is a lack of probable cause to even bring the charge. But there’s the old adage that the grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.

The Canterbury Hotel, where Tyson stayed during his 1991 visit to Indianapolis to attend the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration Getty Images

The first [Evander] Holyfield fight was set to go sometime after the grand jury inquiry in August of ’91. I don’t know whose decision it was, but it was made in Washington, that Mike could give his story, and the grand jury would return a “no bill,” and Mike would then be free to complete the fight with Holyfield, because it was a major fight. If I had to guess, they felt confident Mike could give his explanation, and the grand jury would accept it. That was the assumption, that if a woman is invited to a hotel room at 2 in the morning, there has to be some consent. But I thought, Okay, what if the grand jury doesn’t accept it?

Greg Garrison: I was working for the prosecutor’s office in a civil capacity, doing asset forfeitures and some racketeering work, drug dealers and stuff, no big deal. [Chief counsel] Dave Dreyer said, “Why don’t you come and try Tyson with us?” I laughed at him and said, “When donkeys fly.”

They asked me to come back in and said, “Let us tell you about this case before you tell us ‘no.’” Dreyer really believed in the case. He told me I could have whoever I wanted to try it with me. It took me no time—Barb [Trathen] was the only person I would’ve thought of. We talked about money, and I would make the princely sum of $20,000. I’m sure the guys from Williams & Connolly did somewhat better than that.

Voyles: I liked Mike. I met him when we were taking him through his initial appearance in front of Judge Gifford. He’d been dealing with the other lawyers, and I was the new kid on the block. But we hit it off. I didn’t try to impose myself, because I wasn’t the lead lawyer. He knew I wasn’t in charge. I was there to assist, to answer any questions, to kind of help him through the process.

He always presented his human side to me. We would joke with each other. In person, he was totally opposite of the aggressive personality in the ring. He was always kind. He was gentle. He was polite. I didn’t see any of those tendencies you would think you would see from a bully, someone who had the reputation he had. We were in a fight for his life, so he was intensely interested in the case, and intensely feeling that he was not guilty. He believed any sexual contact was consensual, and does to this day.

Garrison: Barb and I went to Providence to visit with Desiree, and took her statement at length. Then she came here to get ready for trial. She was my guest on a Sunday afternoon. My daughter Betsy went horseback riding with her.

THE UNDERCARD

“The Tyson case has all the makings of a television miniseries—sex, crime, and a famous name.” — Audrey Gadzekpo, managing editor, Indianapolis Recorder, January 1992

Mike Tyson in the City-County Building in Indianapolis Photo by Chuck Robinson/AP Photo

Garrison: The morning of the first day of trial, I rolled down Alabama Street and turned onto Washington, and I think there were five satellite trucks lined up. Talk about an Oh, my God moment.

Voyles: We were not permitted to walk to the courthouse because of the amount of publicity. So we took a van every day from the Hyatt hotel, where the Fuller team had their offices set up. Every morning, we would walk through a barrage of people. We were protected by the sheriff’s office. They had ropes, so that we would go in the same way every time.

Barb Berggoetz, journalist: I happened to be covering the court system [for The Indianapolis Star]. I had been on the beat for maybe a year. I thought, This is a big story. People called it a media circus. That puts too much of a light perspective on it. It was a serious event. There were many levels of storylines that drew attention. There was, Do celebrities get special attention? And I think, certainly, there was another level of attention on the prosecution of African-American men.

Muhammad Siddeeq, imam: A friend of mine was driving the limo for Don King, and he reached out to me when they came to the city. Ministers had arranged for Mike to get a prayer said for him by Jesse Jackson, at Light of the World Christian Church. After it was over, there were 20 or 30 of us standing around Mike, and I introduced myself. He didn’t pause, just said, “Okay, how are you.” We were just a number there. But Don King reached out for me to try to get the public pulling for Mike. I have a picture in my scrapbook somewhere, where Don is there, and one of the managers, and I was speaking, and we had a big sign about “Free Mike.”

Berggoetz: There was definitely a visible number of supporters for him, with signs and chanting. There were also some high-profile people making comments supporting him. Donald Trump made statements in support of Tyson. You had Charles Williams, who had brought Tyson to the Miss Black America pageant. He was making statements that he shouldn’t be prosecuted.

Siddeeq: Charlie Williams felt that Mike Tyson was railroaded. You couldn’t find a sober mind in the African-American community that didn’t think Tyson was railroaded on those charges. This girl was raped, just like I spent the weekend on the moon. They made an example of Mike, mainly because of his unsophisticated manner, and his loose lips, and his way of conducting himself.

Berggoetz: And then you had others who were sympathetic to Desiree Washington, people who felt strongly about sexual assault. That was definitely a tension and a thread of coverage throughout the trial. It was agreed upon between both sides that there was sex that evening, so the issue was whether it was consensual. I think attitudes were being formed in the public’s eye at that time.

THE BOUT

“He said, ‘You’re turning me on.’ I said, ‘I’m not like all those other women. I don’t know what you think I came up here for.” — trial testimony of Desiree Washington

Courtroom artists sketched Tyson’s 1992 trial proceedings for local and national media outlets Illustration by Tina Hansford

Patricia Gifford: The seats in the courtroom were all full every day. It probably affected witnesses, when they would see all those people sitting there and think, Oh, dear, now what?

Garrison: When we called her [Washington], she walked into the courtroom in a modest Sunday dress. Honest to God, there was a gasp from the audience.

Tina Hansford, courtroom artist: She was kind of sweet, and seemed to be terrified. Some of the girls who testified were very made up, very flashy outfits, but this little girl was subdued.

Garrison: She sat straight up, and she had her hands folded in her lap. She looked right at me and answered my questions. I don’t think any of us can imagine being thrust into the international limelight that way. Think about it. You’ve been raped. Your clothes have been torn off your body. You’ve had your most intimate self violated. And you’ve got to sit there and tell the whole world.

Berggoetz: She seemed like a very naïve young woman who was enthralled by this boxer. She came across as someone who got in over her head, and she knew afterward that she shouldn’t have gone to his room, but at the time thought it might be fun. You could understand how she got herself into that position.

Garrison: Barb and I were crossing Delaware Street at the courthouse, when I had this blinding flash. I remember stopping in the middle of the street going, “Wait a minute. If this was gold-digging, she hit the mother lode. They have sex, and he invites her to stay the night. Instead, what does she do? Grabs her shoes and runs out barefoot.” She didn’t grab the gold. She ran away like a girl that had been raped, and spent the rest of the night in the shower.

Voyles: Two or three women were coming from a concert on the night in question, and they saw [Tyson] and Miss Washington kissing in the back of a limo, which would tend to indicate some kind of romantic interest. That was discovered two or three days into the trial, and the court refused to let the evidence come in.

Gifford: That’s an issue that was raised on appeal, and I was affirmed, so I feel confident the decision was correct.

Voyles: Dr. [Thomas] Richardson, the physician at the hospital who examined [Washington], said there was a small abrasion of the inner vaginal wall. That was all. It was my opinion that we should have used Dr. Richardson to establish that, from the bottom of her feet to the top of her head, he did not find any bruises or press marks—try to dissipate that this contact was so vicious. But Vince tried the case the way Vince wanted to try the case.

David Vahle, juror: Vincent Fuller was like somebody who had no clue what was going on. He had his story mixed up, his presentation was confusing. He couldn’t find two or three pictures he wanted to show, and he was fumbling through them. We talked about that quite a bit on the jury, how unprepared he was. One time during the trial, Jim Voyles passed a note over to him. He just pushed it back.

Berggoetz: The lead attorneys had very different styles. Garrison had more of a hometown appeal, a Midwest air. He wore cowboy boots, as I recall.

Hansford: It was lawyer versus hometown boy. Garrison would sit on the edge of things and talk to people and joke around, and Fuller was rather stiff. That’s my impression, that the jury was warmed up more to Garrison than they were to Fuller, who was a bit pompous. He would say to the jury, “Would it give you pause?” I thought, Huh? It was such an old-fashioned way of speaking.

Voyles: He wanted to bring a podium in to speak from, that I think made it even more stiff for him.

Hansford: The front seats formed an ‘L’ right next to the defense table, so the courtroom artists were lined up next to Tyson. My son had said, “Mom, why don’t you get him to autograph your drawings?” So during a break in the trial, I asked Tyson, “Would you sign these?” He said, “Okay.” Because I was close by, he just signed them. He seemed kind of intrigued watching all of us draw. He was doing stick figures.

Berggoetz: He was such a big, bulky, muscular man, and he had that tiny little squeaky voice. I was in the front row, not far from where he was sitting, and a couple times I kind of met eyes with him. He was startling to look at. He just seemed—I don’t want to say “scary,” but his whole demeanor was a little bit intimidating.

Garrison: He was a real issue for me on the stand, because with guys like that, you don’t know what you’re going to get. You’re standing inches away from one of the most physically powerful men on the planet. You don’t know if you’re going to get somebody that’s polished. You don’t know if he’s going to flip out.

Hansford: He mumbled. He was difficult to understand. He had to repeat frequently the questions that were asked. He seemed to be confused. You could read the jury’s body language. Their arms were folded, with frowns on their faces, looking angry, kind of.

Garrison: The garment was lying there in evidence, because we’d put it in through Desiree. He had jerked it down to her hips, and when he did so, he pulled a bunch of beadwork loose. I wanted the jury to see his flash point. I gave it to him and said, “What happened here?” He said something—I don’t know what—and threw it at the court reporter. Not like a fastball, but he chucked it back in that direction. I thought, Okay, they’ve seen bad Mike.

THE COUNT

“Mike, we’re not here for that.” —Jesse Jackson to Tyson in July 1991, when he noticed the boxer and pageant contestants eyeing one another in Indianapolis

Garrison: The arguments were on a Monday. We spent the weekend getting ready. I practiced and rehearsed, and then realized it was just done—I typically believe you can lose an argument, but you really can’t win. In the end, you just want to gather it up and, as one of my old mentors said, “Give them a reason to convict.”

Gifford: The jurors came in a bus, and I believe they were let out at the front door. Deputy sheriffs just moved them right on in and upstairs.

Vahle: We were getting tired from being sequestered and staying away from our families for so long, and then the fire.

Garrison: We finally got to the time we go sit down and do it, and Desiree was in the front row. I turned around, patted her on the leg, and said, “You’ve done your part, honey. You kicked his ass. It’s up to us now.” Then away we went.

Berggoetz: The closing arguments were strong on both sides. I was not sure at all that he would be convicted. I was giving it a 50/50 chance. I thought maybe the evidence was weighted in her favor, but I didn’t know that a jury would be able to convict him, how much his being a celebrity would weigh on their minds.

Vahle: When we got to the jury room, I said, “We’ve got to make our decision, right or wrong. It’s going to be very important, because we’re going to make a decision about somebody’s life.” We passed around the first vote, Who’s for “guilty” and who’s for “innocent”? I was for not guilty, because I wasn’t convinced. Two or three hours into it, we took another vote, and the verdict was the same.

Garrison: They deliberated for nine or 10 hours. You know Iaria’s on College? We had made arrangements to stay there, and nobody found us. I think it was 1:30 or 2 o’clock when we got there and had lunch. We fed everybody and had time to get drunk and sober up at least once. Dinnertime came, and we kept waiting.

Voyles: Anytime you wait for a verdict, it’s tense. The pressure was not on me quite as much as it was on the primary lawyer, because he’d presented the case. But I wanted to win just as badly.

Vahle: We had breaks but didn’t leave the room. I think when you’re trying to make a decision for hours on end, you need to leave, go back to the hotel, take a nap, then come back and go again. But to have it constant all that time, over and over and over—I said, “We’re rushing to judgment.” So we decided, Let’s call it a night and just talk through this tomorrow. The bailiff told the judge, and the judge said, “No, you’re going to keep working.”

Garrison: Finally, the pay phone in the bar rang at close to 11 p.m., and I knew at that point nobody was checking to see if I’d had enough to drink or not. So, we loaded up and headed back downtown. I walked into the courtroom, and there was nobody in that room but Mike Tyson and me. We made eye contact, and I started stirring around papers and acting like I had something to do.
He knew. His big old heavy shoulders were stooped a bit. I thought at that moment, Well, Mike, we got you.

Voyles: I walked in, and Mike was sitting alone at the defense table. So I walked in and sat with him until the others arrived. I felt that my job was to be there with him.

Vahle: One guy was very adamant against her [Washington]. A lot of us were leaning towards guilty, but that guy was still saying, “No, he’s not guilty.” It came down to the final vote, and we all came across with guilty. We looked at him and said, “Wait a minute. What changed your mind?” He said, “I was being the devil’s advocate.”

Berggoetz: As soon as the verdict came back, everything happened quickly, reporters rushing to get stories done, and then Tyson couldn’t get bail. I remember him hugging the woman who brought him up, Camille Ewald. That was sad.

Gifford: I remember Dershowitz running out of the courtroom saying something like, We’ll get this reversed immediately. As I understand, he went out the front door of the City-County Building and turned the wrong way trying to rush off to file his appeal.

THE DECISION

“I don’t come here begging for mercy … I’m here prepared to expect the worst.” — Tyson at the sentencing hearing

Tyson served three years with the Indiana Department of Correction.

Vahle: Right after the case was over, maybe a week, I was not comfortable with the verdict. Whether she wanted it or not, I don’t know. She was enthralled by Tyson. Like any person with a celebrity, she wanted to get to know him, go out with him. Why would any girl go up to a man’s room at 3 in the morning, or whatever time it was, without knowledge that something could happen?

Voyles: I think the jury made the wrong decision. I would like to have been able to try it with my style.

Garrison: Six months or so after the trial, I was in D.C. I met with Vince Fuller, and we had a glass of wine. He was a giant of a lawyer and a wonderful, fine man. He was just in the wrong spot. I know he took responsibility for the way that case went. I’m going to guess that King and Tyson were pressing hard for him to testify. They were probably thinking, We’ve got a chance to blunt some of this stuff, if he does a good job. Which he didn’t.I said, “Why didn’t you use Jim?” He said, “If the case was going to get lost, it had to get lost by me.”

Voyles: Greg had once been my intern, years before. We’ve been adversaries over the years, but Greg and I have always had a very fine working relationship.

Garrison: The joke between Jim and me is, I’d have had a different result. I always say, “No, the same result. It just would have taken five days instead of 15.”

Voyles: I was flattered that somebody would ask me to be involved in that case. On the other hand, when you’re associated with it, some people would say, You represented Mike Tyson, and he got convicted. Which is the other kind of painful part, because I didn’t get to try the case. I’m stuck with the fact that people think if I had tried it, I’d have won. Well, nobody knows that. I would like to have been more involved, but that’s because I’m a trial lawyer. I like to go in and have the fight. I want to go in and kick some ass.

Berggoetz: I think the most important aspect of the case was the definition of “date rape” and how it was proven. It boiled down to almost a he-said-she-said. This case showed that you could win a date-rape case without a huge amount of physical evidence. I don’t know if you’d call it a landmark case, but to me it was significant at that time.

Garrison: The fact that we got a conviction of a famous person was unique. When O.J. [allegedly] killed his wife, everybody was all at once searching for somebody to talk about these cases. They could go find a bunch of people that lost them, but they couldn’t find anybody that won one.

Berggoetz: The next thing everyone wondered is how much time he was going to serve. I remember the tense atmosphere and a lot of strong feelings one way or the other. That’s when more of the people in the community and his supporters came out, saying, What a travesty.

Voyles: We showed up at sentencing with Judge Gifford, and she gave him a 10-year sentence, six executed, four suspended, which meant he had to do three years in the Indiana Department of Correction. I rode with him to the Indiana Reception Diagnostic Center in Plainfield. I was the only lawyer that went with him. Everybody else left, back to Washington. I chose to go with him, because it was the right thing to do. He was devastated. He was confused. When we were in the car, he said, “Well, country boy, I guess we’re going to the prison.”

Siddeeq: In prison, his spiritual advisor was Charles Williams. I went in and spoke to the Muslim population. We were sort of sharing a common area, one at one end and one at the other end, and Mike heard me speaking. He said, “I want to go over there.” So he came over, and he was enthusiastically involved in the discussion. Then he told me, “Look, I want you to be my spiritual advisor.” After that, I was visiting Mike every day.

With me, he was very insightful. He was anxious to learn. Betty Shabazz, the wife of Malcom X, when she came to visit him, she was so impressed. She was interviewed about it, and she said it almost brought tears to her eyes, the kind of spirituality that he demonstrated. When Tupac Shakur came out and wanted to start using some of that old street language, Mike wouldn’t let him. Mike was talking about, “Nah, don’t be cussing, Tupac.”

Voyles: I spent the next 10 years assisting any way I could. He got arrested in Maryland, which caused a violation of his probation. Scott Newman, who was then the Marion County prosecutor, had an opportunity to send him back to prison. I spent 18 trips flying back and forth between Indianapolis and Maryland resolving that case. Finally, Newman and I negotiated that if Mr. Tyson would spend an additional 60 days in the jail in Maryland, he would complete his sentence and spend the remainder on probation.

A few years ago, Mike came to town when he did his one-man show. So he called and invited me. He and I had a private dinner at St. Elmo’s. He had something rolled up, and he walked right up to me and said, “I want to give you this as a gift.” It was an artist’s sketch from the trial that showed he and I and Vince, and he autographed it and gave it to me. It says, “Thanks for all the love over the years.”

Read a blow-by-blow of Mike Tyson’s Indianapolis trial from IM’s July 1992 issue, excerpted from legal expert and courtroom observer Mark Shaw’s book, Down for the Count.


How did Mike Tyson's imprisonment affect his boxing career?

Mike Tyson became the youngest boxer to lift a professional heavyweight title in history after he beat Trevor Berbick in November, 1986 to become the WBC Heavyweight champion.

Tyson subsequently also won the WBA, IBF and The Ring Heavyweight titles, transforming from 'Kid Dynamite' to the 'Baddest Man on the Planet'.

His undefeated streak of ruling over the heavyweight division came to an end in February 1990. Mike Tyson faced Buster Douglas in defense of his WBA, WBC and IBF titles on February 11 1990. Handing him his first professional loss, Buster Douglas knocked Mike Tyson out in round 10 of their bout.

After the end of his reign over the heavyweight division, Mike Tyson wasted no time in making a comeback. He fought again in June 1990 and December 1990, picking up round-1 KO victories over Henry Tillman and Alex Stewart.

He fought Donovan Ruddock twice in 1991, winning on both occasions. These victories set Mike Tyson up for a second potential title reign.

Meanwhile, Evander Holyfield took over the heavyweight division from Buster Douglas by beating him via a round-10 KO.

A fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship was scheduled between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield to take place in November 1991. 'Iron' Mike Tyson ended up pulling out of the bout citing a rib cartilage injury suffered while training.

His second fight with Donovan Ruddock thus became Mike Tyson's last fight before imprisonment. Tyson had been inching towards regaining the heavyweight throne after the setback against Douglas.

Thus, landing on the wrong side of the law cost Mike Tyson 3 years of both his freedom and professional well-being.

Mike Tyson loses it on Canadian TV show when reporter brings up his 1992 rape conviction - http://t.co/69wl6sq9nc pic.twitter.com/5YPzgteRtQ

— Mashable (@mashable) September 10, 2014

Retro Indy: Mike Tyson convicted of rape at Indianapolis hotel in 1991

Boxer Mike Tyson comes down the stairway in the City-County Building after leaving the courtroom with police guards on Feb. 10, 1992. Tyson was convicted of raping beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington in the Canterbury Hotel on July 19, 1991 and served nearly three years of a six-year prison sentence in a Plainfield prison.

Editor’s note: This story initially published in February 2014.

Former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson served three years in an Indiana prison for the 1991 rape of Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America pageant contestant.

Tyson came to Indianapolis on July 17, 1991, for Indiana Black Expo at the invitation of Expo President Charles Williams. The following day, Tyson met Washington at the Omni Severin Hotel, where she and other Miss Black America contestants were rehearsing for the pageant. He asked her out on a date, and she gave him her hotel phone number.

At about 1:45 a.m. on July 19, Tyson called Washington and convinced her to meet him that night. She was driven to the Canterbury Hotel in a rented limousine. Tyson said he needed to stop at his room, and Washington accompanied him to room 606.

New location: Entire Canterbury Hotel bar moved

According to later testimony, Tyson then sexually assaulted her.

Washington left the Canterbury about 3 a.m. and was driven back to the Omni. At 4:15 a.m. Tyson and his bodyguard left the hotel and departed for Cleveland.

On July 20, Washington told her parents that Tyson raped her. She was taken to Methodist Hospital, and at 2:52 a.m. the following day she reported the assault to Indianapolis police. On July 22, Washington filed a formal complaint.

A special Marion County grand jury began a hearing on Aug. 16, during which they interviewed 36 witnesses and, on Sept. 9, returned a four-count indictment.

Tyson appeared before Judge Patricia Gifford on Sept. 11, to plead not guilty. He was released on $30,000 bond with a trial date of Jan. 27, 1992.

Tyson’s trial ran from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10. After deliberating nine hours and 20 minutes, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on one count of rape and two counts of criminal deviate conduct. Prosecutors dropped a charge of confinement on Feb. 4. Special prosecutor J. Gregory Garrison led the prosecution team. Tyson’s defense attorneys were Vincent J. Fuller of Washington, D.C., and James H. Voyles Jr. of Indianapolis.

The identity of Washington remained confidential during the trial, but after Tyson was convicted, she chose to go public. Her photo appeared on the cover of People magazine, and she was interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20/20. During that interview, she claimed to have been offered $1 million to drop the charges. Washington later filed a civil suit against Tyson it was settled out of court.

On March 26, 1992, Tyson was sentenced by Gifford to 10 years on each of the three counts, with four years suspended and the sentences to run concurrently — for a total of six years in prison. Gifford also fined Tyson $30,000, the maximum fine allowed by law. He was also ordered to serve four years of probation after his release. The terms of his probation included psychotherapy and 100 hours of community service. Tyson, who was not permitted to post bond pending an appeal, was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing. Tyson served his time at the Indiana Youth Center, a high-medium security facility west of Indianapolis. It eventually changed its name to the Plainfield Correctional Facility.

Tyson hired Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor whom Time magazine once called “the top lawyer of last resort in the country,” to handle his appeal. The appeal went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to review his conviction in March 1994. In November 1994, Tyson withdrew his appeal saying he would serve the last six months of his sentence.

Indiana’s prison commissioner decided in February 1995 that Tyson had become a model prisoner and should be credited with all of the good-behavior time he had coming, despite a disciplinary problem in May of 1992 when he threatened a guard. Tyson was released from prison on March 25, 1995.


Retro Indy: Mike Tyson convicted of rape at Indianapolis hotel in 1991

Boxer Mike Tyson comes down the stairway in the City-County Building after leaving the courtroom with police guards on Feb. 10, 1992. Tyson was convicted of raping beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington in the Canterbury Hotel on July 19, 1991 and served nearly three years of a six-year prison sentence in a Plainfield prison. (Photo: Ron Ira Steele)

Editor's note: This story initially published in February 2014.

Former heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson served three years in an Indiana prison for the 1991 rape of Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America pageant contestant.

Tyson came to Indianapolis on July 17, 1991, for Indiana Black Expo at the invitation of Expo President Charles Williams. The following day, Tyson met Washington at the Omni Severin Hotel, where she and other Miss Black America contestants were rehearsing for the pageant. He asked her out on a date, and she gave him her hotel phone number.

At about 1:45 a.m. on July 19, Tyson called Washington and convinced her to meet him that night. She was driven to the Canterbury Hotel in a rented limousine. Tyson said he needed to stop at his room, and Washington accompanied him to room 606.

According to later testimony, Tyson then sexually assaulted her.

Washington left the Canterbury about 3 a.m. and was driven back to the Omni. At 4:15 a.m. Tyson and his bodyguard left the hotel and departed for Cleveland.

On July 20, Washington told her parents that Tyson raped her. She was taken to Methodist Hospital, and at 2:52 a.m. the following day she reported the assault to Indianapolis police. On July 22, Washington filed a formal complaint.

A special Marion County grand jury began a hearing on Aug. 16, during which they interviewed 36 witnesses and, on Sept. 9, returned a four-count indictment.

Tyson appeared before Judge Patricia Gifford on Sept. 11, to plead not guilty. He was released on $30,000 bond with a trial date of Jan. 27, 1992.

Tyson's trial ran from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10. After deliberating nine hours and 20 minutes, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on one count of rape and two counts of criminal deviate conduct. Prosecutors dropped a charge of confinement on Feb. 4. Special prosecutor J. Gregory Garrison led the prosecution team. Tyson's defense attorneys were Vincent J. Fuller of Washington, D.C., and James H. Voyles Jr. of Indianapolis.

The identity of Washington remained confidential during the trial, but after Tyson was convicted, she chose to go public. Her photo appeared on the cover of People magazine, and she was interviewed by Barbara Walters on 20/20. During that interview, she claimed to have been offered $1 million to drop the charges. Washington later filed a civil suit against Tyson it was settled out of court.

On March 26, 1992, Tyson was sentenced by Gifford to 10 years on each of the three counts, with four years suspended and the sentences to run concurrently — for a total of six years in prison. Gifford also fined Tyson $30,000, the maximum fine allowed by law. He was also ordered to serve four years of probation after his release. The terms of his probation included psychotherapy and 100 hours of community service. Tyson, who was not permitted to post bond pending an appeal, was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing. Tyson served his time at the Indiana Youth Center, a high-medium security facility west of Indianapolis. It eventually changed its name to the Plainfield Correctional Facility.

Tyson hired Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law professor whom Time magazine once called "the top lawyer of last resort in the country," to handle his appeal. The appeal went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to review his conviction in March 1994. In November 1994, Tyson withdrew his appeal saying he would serve the last six months of his sentence.

Indiana's prison commissioner decided in February 1995 that Tyson had become a model prisoner and should be credited with all of the good-behavior time he had coming, despite a disciplinary problem in May of 1992 when he threatened a guard. Tyson was released from prison on March 25, 1995.


JURY FINDS TYSON GUILTY OF RAPE, 2 OTHER CHARGES

INDIANAPOLIS, FEB. 10 -- An Indianapolis jury tonight found boxer Mike Tyson guilty of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. The jury of eight men and four women deliberated more than nine hours before rendering its verdict, which also included convictions on two counts of criminal deviate conduct.

Judge Patricia J. Gifford asked Tyson to surrender his passport but allowed him to be free on his original bond of $30,000. She also required him to be at the probation department Tuesday morning for pre-sentencing investigation. She set sentencing for March 6.

Tyson, the youngest and richest heavyweight champion in boxing history, could face a maximum of 60 years in prison. Sources indicated the defense would appeal the verdict.

Shortly before 11 p.m., Tyson was summoned to the tension-filled Courtroom 4 of the Marion County courthouse where he sat with a solemn face and muscles taut.

Moments later, the jury returned to the courtroom and the foreman identified himself to the judge and handed her the verdict.

Gifford solemnly read the jury's finding that the former heavyweight champion was guilty of conduct stemming from a sexual assault of a Miss Black America beauty pageant contestant last July.

Flanked by his team of lawyers and with his manager, fight promoter Don King, seated in the first row of the gallery, Tyson remained expressionless when the judge announced that the jury had found him guilty of rape and two lesser felonies. Lead defense attorney Vincent J. Fuller then asked the judge to poll the jury, and one by one they each repeated "guilty" when asked for their individual verdicts.

Lead prosecutor J. Gregory Garrison asked the judge to revoke bond for Tyson but Fuller said that was unfair because "Mr. Tyson is a celebrity, he has nowhere to go."

Garrison, the flamboyant prosecutor whose homespun style proved too great a match for one of the nation's top defense attorneys, said at a news conference afterward that the prosecution succeeded in large part because of "that 18-year-old kid with the pure heart." Tyson's accuser, a college freshman in New England, met the boxer while competing in the Miss Black America pageant last July and testified that he lured her to his hotel room on a date and forced her to have sex against her will.

"She is a young person with a lot of courage," Garrison said.

The jurors, who were sequestered throughout the trial and whose names have not been disclosed, held a news conference late tonight to explain that their verdict was based on an accumulation of evidence rather than one single piece of testimony. The foreman, a 36-year-old IBM marketing manager and ex-Marine, said jurors arrived at their final decision only a short time before the verdict was read.

Two preliminary votes were taken before the jury reached a unanimous decision, the foreman said, adding that he did not remember how many jurors initally voted for acquittal. "There were periods of calm and periods that were heated, but it was still under control," he said of the deliberations. "We tried not to get carried away."

Ultimately, he said, the jury weighed all the evidence carefully and "we felt that the case was a lot stronger," he said. "The accusing witness made a very good case and was a very credible witness."

Throughout the trial, Tyson's defense team had complained that the jury, which included two blacks, was stacked against him racially. But jurors said tonight that race was not an issue in their deliberations. "It's not a question of color," said a 39-year-old black woman who works as an insurance underwriter.

"We were here to do a job and we feel like we did it the best way we could," said a 24-year-old black man employed as a teacher's aide in the city schools.

Tyson took the stand in his own defense Friday and Saturday and testified that the woman was eager to have sex when they went out on a date.

Tyson's accuser had not been in the courthouse since testifying at the outset of the 14-day trial that the boxer, whom she met while competing in the pageant, lured her to his hotel room on a date and forced her to have sex as she tried to fight him off.

Shortly before 9 a.m. today, the petite college freshman entered Courtroom 4 with her mother and sat in the front row of the gallery, directly behind the prosecutors' table. Throughout four hours of final arguments, she watched and listened in silence, occasionally blowing her nose into a handkerchief. Her mother also watched quietly, her eyes filling with tears when Garrison summed up the case.

Tyson, in his customary position at the defense table, glanced toward the women only occasionally.

Arguing on Tyson's behalf, Fuller stood at a podium and, occasionally pounding his fist and raising his voice, argued that the accuser was a sophisticated young woman who knew what she was getting into when she accompanied the 5-foot-11, 200-plus pound boxer to Room 606 of the Canterbury Hotel in the wee hours of July 19.

By contrast, prosecutors portrayed her as a naive and star-struck young woman who was fooled by "a wolf in sheep's clothing." Garrison reminded jurors that the rape was not about whether the young woman consented to go to the hotel room, but whether she was forced to have sex against her will. "Date rape is not half a crime," Garrison said. "It's a violent crime against a woman -- a crime that every man must recognize and do everything he can to prevent."

The first presentation came from deputy prosecutor Barbara Trathen, who told jurors that the most "ludicrous" evidence presented by the defense was "the lie" in Tyson's testimony -- that he told the woman upon first meeting her that he wanted to have sex with her.

"And this 18-year-old honors student just responds, 'Ha ha, sure, give me a call,' " Trathen said with a tone of incredulity.

Fuller asked the jury to disregard two pieces of evidence in the case: the torn garment the woman wore on the date, which the defense has argued might have been ripped after the alleged assault and a doctor's report that documented two "small" abrasions on her genitalia 25 hours after the rape.

More important, Fuller suggested, was the issue of consent. Not only had the young woman seen Tyson "gyrating his hips" toward contestants during a pageant rehearsal, she also heard Tyson's overt invitation to have sex.


Is Desiree Washington Is A Teacher Now?

We are unsure of Desiree Washington’s current profession as a teacher.

As we could not get hold of Desiree Washington’s social media handles now , her current activity is still questionable.

However, there are some rumors about her engaging in the teaching field now.

Furthermore, in her past interviews, she expressed her plans to complete her college and venture into the law and politics sector.

Desiree Washington who’s testimony convicted Mike Tyson of rape, and was dragged by the media in a particularly vicious case of misogynoir pic.twitter.com/MRnXlGTiEo

&mdash Molly Shah (@MollyOShah) December 6, 2017


Mike Tyson Banned From U.K. For Rape Conviction

Former boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson has cancelled a number of book tour stops in Britain, after learning that the country has barred him from entering. Tyson, who was convicted of rape in 1992, has been on an international tour promoting his autobiography, Undisputed Truth, and had stops scheduled for London. But border control changes made last year mean that anyone who has been sentenced to more than four year in prison is barred from entering the country, the Guardian reports. Tyson served three years of a six-year sentence.

“I was greatly disappointed when I learned of United Kingdom’s immigration law changes that went into effect December 2012,” Tyson said in a statement. “I have been coming to the U.K. consistently in the past decade so this change is disheartening since it affects my current entry standing. I apologize to my fans that were inconvenienced, however, please know I am currently working diligently with the proper authorities to regain access next year for my U.K. tour.”

Tyson is also scheduled to visit Britain in March 2014 for his Spike Lee-directed one-man Broadway show. The show is due to run for eight nights in London, Glasgow and Manchester. A Tyson spokesperson, Steve Guest, told the Guardian, that the March visit would still go ahead, saying, “it is something we need to work out with immigration people and then everything will be fine.”


Watch the video: When Mike Tyson Loses Control (January 2022).