JACKSON, Miss. – A rape charge against Rikki Rockett has been dropped after authorities determined that the Poison drummer was not in the state at the time of the alleged crime.
Authorities say they are now looking for a man with a history of passing himself off as a rock musician to pick up women.
Rockett was accused of raping a woman at a central Mississippi casino in September 2007 and arrested in March. The Neshoba County district attorney's office confirmed Tuesday that the charges were dropped.
Rockett said he was in California when the rape was alleged.
"I was with my fiance watching her try on wedding dresses," Rockett said in a Tuesday phone interview with The Associated Press from Salt Lake City, where Poison is preparing to launch a 49-date tour. "We've got eyewitnesses to that."
Police arrested Rockett, whose real name is Richard Ream, at Los Angeles International Airport upon his return from a concert in New Zealand in March. The 46-year-old said he's never been arrested before and feared his reputation would be ruined.
"That is one word you don't want associated with your name," Rockett said. "Rape is right up there with murder and child molestation."
Authorities are now looking for John Minskoff, who authorities say has a history of passing himself off as a rock musician to pick up women. Messages left with the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday were not immediately returned.
Rockett held an exoneration benefit party on Saturday to raise money for Centurion Ministries, which aids those who have been wrongly convicted of crimes. He's now in Utah practicing with bandmates in preparation for the tour that starts Thursday.
The hair-metal act that scored hits in the '80s like "Talk Dirty To Me" and "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."