Brother of American rapper, Nicki Minaj, Jelani Maraj has been sentenced to 25 years life in prison for raping a child.
On Monday, 27th January 2020, Jelani was sentenced to 25 years to life in a New York court by Judge Robert McDonald, years after the guilty verdict was reached, reports TMZ.
Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child in a trial that lasted less than three weeks.
During the trial, the then-14-year-old victim testified that Maraj repeatedly raped her in 2015 when she was 11 years old at his Long Island home while her mother was at work.
Two years ago, the rapper, whose real name is Onika Maraj-Petty, visited her brother while he was locked up.
Nicki Minaj didn’t testify during the trial despite claims made by her brother’s defence team that she would.
Maraj was actually found guilty in November 2017.
“We will be appealing this excessive sentence. There was clear juror misconduct amongst other issues.” Maraj’s attorney, David M. Schwartz said.
Jelani Maraj was first charged in the case back in April 2016. He was accused of repeatedly raping his stepdaughter, beginning when she was 11 years old. Schwartz had claimed at various points that the girl’s allegations against Maraj were part of her mother’s $25 million extortion scheme.
In October 2019, a Nassau County judge denied Maraj and Schwartz’s bid to have the verdict overturned.