Los Angeles: Popular rapper Nicki Minaj’s elder brother Jelani Maraj has been ordered to serve 25 years in jail following his child rape conviction.
Jelani Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child following a 2017 trial in New York, relating to incidents with his stepdaughter, who was 11 at the time of the claims, reports aceshowbiz.com.
Sentencing had been delayed after attorneys for Jelani Maraj appealed the verdict amid allegations of juror misconduct, but the challenge was dismissed in October 2019, and on January 27, he got to know the verdict from Judge Robert McDonald, reports tmz.com.
Jelani Maraj always maintained his innocence, accusing his former partner Jacqueline Robinson, who is the mother of the victim, of setting him up as part of a $25 million extortion plot just four months after they tied the knot in a lavish wedding, which the rapper had paid for.
Robinson, who filed for divorce in 2016, denied the allegations in court, where jurors also heard evidence from the victim and her younger brother, who claimed he walked in on Jelani Maraj assaulting his sister.
The “Anaconda” hitmaker has never commented on her brother’s case, although she initially helped to bail him out by putting up two of her homes for collateral to cover his $100,000 fee.
Nicki was then listed as a potential witness for the defence during the trial, although she did not end up testifying on her sibling’s behalf.