Originally created 04/03/02

Tyson prepared to register as sex offender under state laws



MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mike Tyson will be registered as a sex offender with Tennessee and Mississippi when he comes to Memphis to fight Lennox Lewis.

"His legal team will have that taken care of so there's a smooth transition," Scott Miranda, a Tyson spokesman, said Tuesday.

Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty pageant contestant in Indiana in 1992 and was in prison for three years of a 10-year sentence.

It is unclear whether he will stay in Memphis or at a casino hotel in nearby Tunica County, Miss., during the days leading up to the fight.

Both states require convicted sex offenders, under certain conditions, to register with local law enforcement agencies.

Tennessee requires registration if an offender will be in the state 10 days or more. Mississippi requires the same for 14 days or more.

"The responsibility is on the offender to register with us," said Jeanne Broadwell, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Failing to register in Tennessee carries a mandatory punishment of at least six months in jail. In Mississippi, an offender who fails to register could draw a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

"Mississippi has taken a pretty hard line on this particular crime," said Warren Strain, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

Miranda said Tyson's legal advisers follow such state laws wherever he travels.

Tyson, who spends much of his time in Las Vegas, is on the sex offender registry in Nevada.

He currently is training in Hawaii and has not yet decided when he will come to Memphis.

Tyson has a history of violence outside the ring as well as in it. Several women have filed criminal or civil complaints accusing Tyson of groping them or making unwanted sexual advances.

He spent three months in a Maryland prison in 1999 for fighting with two motorists following a traffic accident. He was suspended from boxing in 1997 for biting Evander Holyfield's ear during a bout in Las Vegas.