Nassau County

DA: Nicki Minaj’s Brother Sentenced to 25 to Life for Raping 11-Year-Old Girl

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What to Know

  • Jelani Maraj, brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, was sentenced Monday morning to 25 years to life in prison for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl at his Long Island home, according to a spokesperson for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office
  • Maraj was convicted in November 2017 of predatory sexual assault against a child in and endangering the welfare of a child
  • At his trial, testified she was repeatedly assaulted over eight months in 2015 at Maraj's home in Baldwin

Jelani Maraj, brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, was sentenced Monday morning to 25 years to life in prison for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl at his Long Island home, a spokesperson for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News.

Maraj was convicted in November 2017 of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors sought the maximum sentences of 25 years to life in prison.

The judge sentenced Maraj to 25 years to life on the first count and 364 days on the second count, according to the district attorney's office. These sentences will run concurrently.

The girl, who was 14 when she testified said was repeatedly assaulted over eight months in 2015 at Maraj's home in Baldwin while her mother was at work.

Prosecutors said DNA evidence supported the allegations. The girl's younger brother testified that he witnessed one assault.

Maraj's lawyers said the rape allegations were concocted by the girl's mother as part of a scheme to get Nicki Minaj to pay $25 million in hush money.

Maraj's attorney appealed conviction in 2018, claiming that there was jury misconduct. The judge ruled in October that the defense did not meet the necessary burden of proof.

Maraj said in court Monday that he had an alcohol problem and asked for a "second chance." One of his attorneys said he suffered from health issues including hypertension, gout and anemia and requested the minimum sentence of 10 years to life.

Maraj's appellate attorney, Stephen Scaring, said he plans to appeal the judge's decision.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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