Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj has been found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child, after he was accused of raping his then-pre-teen stepdaughter.
Maraj, 38, is facing 25 years to life in prison and will be sentenced on Dec. 14. “We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas told TMZ. Maraj’s lawyer says he will appeal, according to USA Today.
In August 2015, Minaj expressed love for her brother after reportedly paying for his wedding to Jacqueline Robinson. Later, she celebrated the day on Instagram. “I would cross the ocean for u,” she wrote. “I would go & bring u the moon. Promise u. For u I will. I love my brother so much man.”
But by December 2015, Maraj had been charged with raping his then-11-year-old stepdaughter. His then-8-year-old stepson, now 10, testified in trial last month, saying he saw Maraj assault his sister. “I saw his underwear close to his knees,” he said, according to Page Six. “I thought it wasn’t right. It looked weird to me, so I ran upstairs.”
The young man also testified to hearing his sister’s bed creaking at night. Prosecutors alleged that Maraj had sex with the young girl, who is now 13, as much as four times a week, according to the report. A doctor, Dr. Aaron Miller, added: “I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that [the girl’s] medical exam can prove penetration.”
In 2015, Nicki paid for her brother’s $100,000 bond, according to Page Six. Initial reports claimed she would testify in her brother’s defense, but she ended up not doing so. She also named him in her music, including 2014’s “All Things Go,” off her most recent album, The Pinkprint. “I know Jelani will always love me, and I’ll always love him,” she raps on the song. “And I’m just his little sister, not Nicki Minaj when I’m around him.”