Rapper Nicki Minaj‘s brother, Jelani Maraj, has been sentenced to 25 years to life after being found guilty in his child rape case, In Touch can confirm. On Monday, January 27, Judge Robert McDonald sentenced Maraj, 41, to 25 years to life on his first count of Class A felony for predatory sexual assault against a child. He also sentenced Maraj to 364 days for his second count of Class A misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child.
Maraj was charged with the maximum sentence for child rape. His trial first began back in October 2017, where he was convicted after a jury deliberated for almost two days on November 9, 2017. His defense team filed a post-trial motion in January 2018, but the judge entered his decision on the motion in December 2019.
The defendant was convicted for the alleged repeated rape of his stepdaughter, who was 11 years old at the time. During his 2017 trial, she testified against her alleged abuser. “He would call me his puppet and [say] I had no say in what he did to me,” the girl claimed in court. She alleged that he threatened to have her taken away from her home if she didn’t obey him.
Despite her shocking testimony, the defense claimed the allegations were fabricated in order to extort money from Maraj’s sister. The child’s mother has denied this claim, Us Weeky reported at the time.
Although Minaj reportedly paid her brother’s $100,000 bail when he was first arrested in 2017, Page Six reported at the time, she has since been tight-lipped when it comes to the case. After being found guilty, Minaj went to visit her brother in jail, according to TMZ. Reportedly, Minaj and Maraj haven’t been close since the conviction and she went to visit him simply because their mother, Carol, asked her to go.
Unfortunately, Maraj isn’t the only man in Minaj’s life who has run into trouble with the law. The rapper married convicted sex offender Kenneth Petty in the fall of 2019. He served four years in prison due to his involvement in a 1995 rape of a 16-year-old girl. He was also convicted of first-degree manslaughter in 2006 for a fatal shooting that took place in 2002. He served 10 years behind bars and was released in 2013.
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