Nicki Minaj’s brother has been found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child.
Jelani Maraj pleaded not guilty to allegations he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old for months prior to his arrest in December, 2015. He was subsequently charged with three counts, but a judge overseeing the case agreed to drop one at the request of the prosecution.
Maraj was still still facing a felony second-degree charge of sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of acting in a manner likely to injure a child, and on Thursday he was convicted of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
He faces 25 years to life in prison and will be sentenced on 14 December.
Maraj’s lawyer is reportedly planning to appeal the verdict.
“We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas tells TMZ.
During the trial, Maraj’s lawyer claimed the child’s mother, Jelani’s estranged wife Jacqueline Robinson, set him up as part of a $25 million extortion plot, just four months after they wed. Robinson, who filed for divorce last year, denied the allegations during her testimony, while the court also heard evidence from the alleged victim and her younger brother, who claimed he walked in on Maraj assaulting the girl, who did not take the witness stand.
The famous sister of the accused has never commented on the case publicly, but she did help to secure her brother’s freedom following his arrest by putting up two of her homes for collateral as she covered his $100,000 bail. She did not appear in court for the proceedings.