Mike Tyson Barred From U.K. for Rape Conviction

By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 11, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Mike Tyson's criminal past is catching up to him, as the former heavyweight champion was barred from entering Britain due to his prior rape conviction.

The 47-year-old former athlete was scheduled to arrive in the U.K. over the weekend to promote his autobiography, "Undisputed Truth," but a British immigration law passed in December 2012 blocked the notorious boxer from entering the country, reports The Guardian.

How does this British law mirror our own laws on felons entering the country?

Tyson Blocked Over 1992 Conviction

In 1992, Tyson was convicted and sentenced to 10 years for the rape of an 18-year-old woman, but the sentencing judge suspended four years of the sentence, leaving Tyson to serve only six of those years in prison, reports The New York Times.

British law requires that a person who has been convicted of an offense "for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years" is to be denied entry into the UK. The law would also bar persons who were sentenced to jail time for less than a year -- unless five years has passed since the end of the sentence.

This new immigration policy would likely exclude Tyson's 2007 -- more than five years old -- conviction for cocaine possession, for which he only served 24 hours in jail, reports the BBC. But "The Hangover" actor's rape conviction does fit the British "no-entry" edict.

Tyson may have to sort out some contract issues due to his immigration issues, as the former boxer was slated to do a one-man show in London in March, reports The Guardian. Tyson's status in the UK may render his performance legally impossible.

Criminal History Can Bar Entry into U.S.

The U.S. has similar laws preventing those with criminal histories from either entering the country temporarily or for those attempting to gain permanent residence or citizenship.

An immigrant may be denied entry into the U.S. if he or she has been convicted of:

  • A crime of moral turpitude (fraud, murder, rape, etc.)
  • Drug trafficking offenses
  • Prostitution or sex offense charges

Similar to the U.K., the U.S. may make exceptions for immigrants who were only sentenced to six months or less in prison for a single crime -- though multiple offenders like Tyson may be blocked from entry.

Luckily for Tyson, his American citizenship allows for his safe return to the U.S.

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