Rikki Rockett was exonerated of a felony rape charge filed in Mississippi stemming from a September 23, 2007 incident in which a Neshoba County, Mississippi woman claimed that Rockett had forcibly raped her. Rockett was not in Mississippi during September 2007. The Neshoba County District Attorney refused to prosecute the case after determining that Rockett was not the person who committed the alleged rape. The charges carry a potential life sentence. Rockett said, "I want to sincerely thank my lawyers Barry Tarlow and Mi Kim for their commitment to my case and their terrific legal work that exonerated me of any wrongdoing."
The warrant, issued on December 18, 2007, sought the arrest and extradition of "Rockett, Rikki A" a/k/a "Minskosf, John" to Mississippi for "strong arm rape." News stories shortly disclosed the correct spelling of the name John Minskosf as "John Minskoff." Rockett has never used the Minskoff name. It is now believed that Minskoff used Rockett's name to convince the complaining witness to sleep with him.
"I think it was a case where the woman and her husband unfortunately believed they could extort money from me and my band," Rockett said, "This is a gross example of people attempting to abuse the law for personal profit. They tried to subvert and make a mockery of the criminal justice system. It is abhorrent and disgraceful." Rockett happily continued: "It's nice to feel like I can have my life back now. I have a POISON tour to look forward to as well as a wedding to prepare for." Rockett was arrested at LAX when he and his band mates arrived after performing at a large music festival in Wellington, New Zealand. Rockett said: "I was exhausted from a 14-hour flight and then was hauled off to jail. The worst part was having to walk past my fiancée in handcuffs. She had no idea what was happening and neither did I! When I was finally told that I was arrested on charges of rape, I about passed out!" Rockett was booked, fingerprinted, and photographed at the Los Angeles county jail. "The Police were as cool to me as they could be considering the circumstances," he said. "I was never disrespected by them during the time I was there. I want them to know that I appreciate that."
A flood of press coverage, both negative and positive, soon followed. "I remain surprised that no member of the educated and savvy press ever googled the name 'John Minskoff'!" Rockett said. "Had they done so, they would have found out that in 1996, John Minskoff claimed to have been involved with the rock band WHITESNAKE when he lured and kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in Reno, Nevada. Minskoff is a violent career criminal and felon and convicted perjurer with multiple convictions who has admitted to impersonating 'rock stars' to sexually pursue women."
"I received undying support from my band, friends, and fans, but unfortunately, my detractors had a field day with the story," Rockett said. "I look forward to serving the press who created defamatory remarks some healthy lawsuits!" Rockett went on to say, "I also look forward to helping other people who have been falsely accused of committing heinous crimes. My lawyers, Barry Tarlow and Mi Kim, are helping me seek out organizations like Centurion Ministries to help if I can. This wonderful organization works to free innocent people in prison who have done serious time for crimes they did not commit."