Jelani Maraj faces 25 years to life in prison
Nicki Minaj‘s brother has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a child.
The Associated Press now reports that Maraj, 38, has been convicted of predatory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after being found guilty of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl over a period of eight months.
Jurors delivered their verdict on Thursday (November 9) in Nassau County Court. The charges carry potential prison time of 25 years to life. Maraj is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14.
Maraj’s lawyer has stated that he intends to appeal against the verdict. “We have 50 appealable issues,” lawyer David Schwartz said. “The amount of evidence we have that wasn’t allowed in this case is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. I am shocked.”
According to the reports, prosecutors said that DNA evidence supported the allegations after Maraj’s semen was found on the child’s pyjamas. The girl’s younger brother also testified that he witnessed one assault.
Maraj’s lawyers claimed that the rape allegations put against him were a scheme by the girl’s mother to get sister Nicki Minaj to pay $25 million in “hush money”. Maraj was married to the child’s mother at the time.
“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 following the guilty verdict.
Minaj has not yet responded to the news.