Nicki Minaj’s Brother Jelani Maraj Convicted of Raping Stepdaughter
Jelani Maraj, the brother of Grammy-nominated rapper Nicki Minaj, was convicted on Nov. 9 of repeatedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter. Maraj, 38, could face up to 25 years in jail. He reportedly did not react to the verdict that was given in Nassau County courtroom at Long Island in the United States.
The girl, now 14, said that Maraj raped her up to four times a week, sometimes twice a day from April to November 2015. Maraj’s attorney, David Schwartz, denied the accusations, blaming Maraj’s wife of trying to extort $25 million from his famous sister.
The girl said that Maraj would call her “puppet” and told her that she had no say in what happens to her. Her younger brother also testified against Maraj. The boy said that Maraj threatened him as well. He told both the children to keep quiet about the abuse that went on while his wife was at work.
After the jurors delivered the sentence, Maraj was taken back to jail as his $100,000 bail was revoked.
His lawyer said that the verdict will be appealed.
#JelaniMaraj was found guilty for repeatedly raping his 11-year-old former stepdaughter while her mother was at work. He now faces up to life in prison for predatory sexual assault on a child. The supreme court justice ordered him to be held without bail.#sexualassault #childrape pic.twitter.com/7l0dMwmzAO
— Atlanta Black Star (@ATLBlackStar) November 9, 2017
Carol Maraj, Jelani’s mother, in her testimony said that the victim’s mother said, “It’s gonna take lots of money to get out of this one,” according to People.com. Minaj did not testify.
“We have 50 appealable issues,” Schwartz said, according to the Independent. “The amount of evidence we have that wasn’t allowed in this case is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. I am shocked.”
The prosecutors also said DNA evidence found on the girl’s pyjama pants was linked one-in-291 billion match with defendant Maraj.
“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,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
A civil attorney, James R. Ray III, who had represented the mother for a short span of time, testified that he had demanded $25 million from Maraj after he was arrested in 2015 to avoid a potential lawsuit. He, however, added that the girl’s mother was unaware of the demand.
Minaj’s father is half-Indian, making her one-quarter Indian. She was born to Indo-Trinidadian parents. They moved from Trinidad to Queens, New York, when she was five.