Nicki Minaj‘s brother has been sentenced to 25 years-to-life in in a New York prison after he repeatedly raped his 11-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was at work.
Jelani Maraj, 40, was found guilty of ‘predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child’ in 2017 and on Monday, Nassau County Supreme Court Judge, Robert McDonald, refused to give him a soft sentence.
It was despite his lawyer reading a 2016 letter his famous sister wrote in a bid to reduce his time behind bars, calling him the ‘most patient, gentle, genuine, giving selfless man I know’.
The judge said that his ‘view is that you ruined this child’.
Sentenced: Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday in New York following his 2017 conviction for child rape (Jelani and Nicki pictured)
‘You raped this child. You raped her over and over again,’ the judge added.
Maraj had been held in custody, awaiting sentencing, since he was found guilty of the felony following a three-week trial.
The victim, now 14, testified in excruciating detail about sexual assaults that she said occurred as frequently as four times a week and sometimes twice a day.
She told the court she had become suicidal over the abuse.
‘I didn’t think I could make it through the day without an anxiety attack.’ she said. ‘I felt I had no voice,’ the victim, who is now his former stepdaughter, said Monday.
Maraj has maintained innocence and was stoic in the Long Island court room Monday.
Minaj’s brother told the court: ‘I’d like to apologize for the pain that I caused. I had an excessive drinking problem.
Maraj added that he’s ‘just asking for mercy from the court’.
Guilty: He was found guilty of ‘predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child’ for repeatedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was at work (Maraj pictured arriving to court for the verdict in 2017)
His lawyer said he plans to appeal.
Neither Maraj nor his famous sister testified at the trial, even though during opening arguments defense lawyers said that the rapper was on the witness list.
The girl’s younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault.
He reported it to a school administrator.
The prosecutor said DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pajama pants was linked to Maraj.
Maraj’s lawyers tried to convince the jury that the rape allegations were concocted by the girl’s mother as part of a scheme to get Nicki Minaj to pay the family $25 million in hush money.
Minaj paid her brother’s $100,000 bail back when he was first arrested for the crime in 2015.
The siblings were reportedly quite close prior to the arrest, with Nicki previously plunking down $30,000 to pay for her older brother’s wedding to the mother of his rape victim.
Following this conviction, however, sources said the two grew apart. A week after his conviction, Nicki visited her brother in jail, but reportedly only did so to support their mother Carol, according to TMZ.
Falling out: Minaj paid her brother’s $100,000 bail back when he was first arrested for the crime in 2015 when the siblings were reportedly quite close, however, sources said the two grew apart following the convictions (Maraj’s 2015 mug shot)
While Nicki appeared to distance herself from her brother following the conviction, she ironically married a man who was previously convicted of a similar crime.
In the fall of 2019, the rapper tied the knot with convicted sex offender Kenneth Petty who served time for the 1995 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Queens, New York.
He spent four years in prison in connection with the incident, and was also placed on the sex offender registry.
Kenneth also has a first-degree manslaughter conviction in 2006 in the fatal 2002 shooting of a man. He served seven years of a 10-year sentence and was released from custody in 2013.
Sex crimes: While Nicki appeared to distance herself from her brother following the conviction, she ironically married a man who was previously convicted the 1995 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Queens, New York