Nicki Minaj brother Jelani Maraj was convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl who was his stepdaughter.
A jury returned the guilty verdict on Thursday after hours of deliberation, NY Daily News reported. Maraj, 38, sat in court stoned face as the verdict was read out. The highly publicized case saw the young girl and her brother testifying while giving graphic details of her sexual encounter with Maraj who was married to her mother. She told the court that he would rape her sometimes up to four times per day.
Nicki Minaj did not attend court during the trial, but she reportedly foots her brother’s legal bill. He is now facing 15 years to life in prison. Jelani Maraj got married to the victim’s mother in 2015 in a lavish wedding that Nicki Minaj reportedly paid for. The first allegation of the sexual abuse came just four months after the couple got married and the victim was just 11 years old at the time.
The young girl, who is now 14, testified in court that her stepfather anally raped her at one point, and then slapped her in her face and told her to keep quiet about what was happening. Her young brother also testified in court that he once walked into a spare bedroom and caught Maraj raping his sister. One juror told reporters that the young girl’s testimony was difficult to listen to. “What (the victim) went through all that time,” Juror Arthur Naclerio, 67, said. “Thinking that if it was a lie, how could she keep it up that long at that age?”
During the three-week trial, Nicki Minaj was rumored to be testifying on his behalf, but she never did and sources told Dancehall HipHop that her attorney advised her not to go near the courtroom much less take the witness stand. The guilty verdict in her brother’s rape case is now giving her some bad press.
His attorney accused the girl’s mother of being vindictive and wanted $25 million from the rap star to make the case go away.