Nicki Minaj's brother, Jelani Maraj, convicted in child rape case

by: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, has been found guilty of  predatory sexual assault on a child younger than 13 years old.

He was tried in Nassau County, New York.

People reported that the conviction on Thursday also included endangering the welfare of a child, according to Nassau County District Attorney Spokesman Brendan Brosh.

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The charges say Maraj repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl at his home in Long Island while the girl’s mother was at work. Brosh said prosecutors alleged the girl was repeatedly raped between April and November 2015.

The victim, who is now 14, testified in detail about the multiple sexual assaults. The girl’s younger brother also testified that he witnessed one incident.

Neither Maraj nor Minaj testified during the trial.

Brosh said Maraj was stoic when the verdict was read. According to Maraj’s lawyer, he will appeal.

Maraj was arrested for in connection with the case on Dec. 2, 2015. He was released from custody on $100,000 bail, reportedly backed by two homes owned by Minaj, according to People.

The Associated Press reported that Maraj, 38, was walked out in handcuff and bail was revoked after the sentencing. 

“Justice demanded that this defendant be held accountable for these heinous acts and we are thankful to the jury for their careful deliberation,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement to People. “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.”

A representative for the rapper did not immediately respond to a request for comment from People or The AP. She has never commented publicly about the charges.

Maraj is at Nassau County Jail until his sentencing Dec. 14. He faces 25 years to life in prison.

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