Rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj has been convicted of predatory sexual assault after being charged with repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl.
The 38-year-old was found guilty on Thursday for the crime which he committed at his Long Island home. The verdict was delivered by Jurors on the second day of deliberations in Jelani Maraj’s trial. While his sentencing proceedings is expected to take place on 14 December, the charges to which he has been found guilty of, carry the potential for 25 years to life in prison.
Maraj was led away in handcuffs after bail was revoked following his conviction.
Nevertheless, he did not appear to react when the verdict was read in a Nassau County courtroom and his lawyer said he will appeal.
According to the convicted rapist, the rape allegations were fabricated by the girl’s mother as part of a scheme to extort money from his famous sister. The plan is to get the rapper to pay the family $25m in hush money, a claim prosecutors called absurd.
James R Ray III, a civil attorney who briefly represented the mother, testified during the trial that he demanded a $25m legal settlement from Nicki Minaj’s brother after he was arrested. Notwithstanding, it was found that the girl’s mother was unaware of this demand.
“She was never involved as far as what we did,” Ray III testified. The woman later fired him as her attorney.
The girl who is 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. The acts were mostly carried out when Maraj was home alone with the girl.
Besides, prosecutors said the DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pyjama pants was linked to Maraj. The girl’s younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault. However, neither Maraj nor his sister, whose birth name is Onika Tanya Maraj, testified during the trial.