Nicki Minaj‘s brother Jelani Maraj faces life in jail after being found guilty of predatory assault against an 11-year-old girl. Maraj (38) was on trial for raping an 11-year-old girl on multiple occasions at his Long Island home. He was charged with the crime in 2015 and found guilty at Nassau County court, New York, this week.
Maraj faces the potential of 25 years to life in prison. Jurors delivered their verdict on the second day of deliberations in Jelani Maraj’s trial. Maraj was led away in handcuffs after bail was revoked following his conviction. Maraj did not appear to react when the verdict was read in a Nassau County courtroom. His lawyer said he will appeal.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pajama pants was linked to Maraj. The girl’s younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault. Nicki Minaj was not called as a witness for her brother. And Jelani Maraj did not testify in his own defense. The child, now 14, and her younger brother testified. The defense claimed the child sex abuse charges were a shakedown by Maraj’s new wife, who allegedly sought $25 million in hush money.
“We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process and that it will close this terrible chapter in their lives,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
A spokesman for Minaj’s record label did not respond to an email seeking comment on the case. Minaj has been nominated for a Grammy award 10 times and won six American Music Awards.