Jelani Maraj, 38, and Nicki Minaj's older brother, has just been found guilty of child predatory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, reports People, via the Nassau County District Attorney Spokesman Brendan Brosh. He is facing 25 years to life in prison, and is remaining in jail until his sentencing.
"Justice demanded that this defendant be held accountable for these heinous acts and we are thankful to the jury for their careful deliberation. 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," said Nassau Country District Attorney Madeline Singas, to People in a statement.
Nicki had previously put up Maraj's $100,000 bail; she reportedly used two of her houses as collateral, reported Page Six.
The prosecution argued that Maraj started abusing the victim when she was 11, and raped her repeatedly between April and November 2015 while her mother was working," People writes, citing Brosh's statement. The victim, 14, and her brother, 10, both testified in court. She testified that Maraj referred to her as a "puppet" and physically assaulted her if she rejected his advances. Her brother, a witness, testified that Maraj threatened to have him removed from his family if he spoke about the abuse.
Maraj's defense presented a case that alleged that he was the victim of an extortion plot because his sister is famous. Nicki and Jelani's mother, Carol Maraj, testified that the victim's mother said "It’s gonna take lots of money to get out of this one."
Refinery29 has reached out Maraj's lawyer and the Nassau County D.A Madeline Singas for comment.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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