The verdict is in — Jelani Maraj, brother to rapper Nicki Minaj, is guilty!
Nicki Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj, 38, was just found guilty in his child rape trial, after a trial that lasted nearly 3 weeks.
The verdict for Jelani Maraj came in Thursday in Long Island… he was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. If you recall, Maraj was accused of sexually abusing his 12-year-old step-daughter, as well as other allegations from a young male victim who came forward to accuse Maraj too.
He faces 25 years to life in prison. He’ll be sentenced on December 14. Nassau County D.A. Madeline Singas tells TMZ … “We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process.”
TMZ broke the story — Minaj never testified during the trial — despite claims she would by her brother’s defense team
UPDATE: 10/20/2017, 1:25p.m.
Not only is Nicki Minaj fully supporting brother Jelani Maraj throughout his child sex abuse case, but she will also reportedly will be testifying on his behalf, according to The Daily Mail.
The “Anaconda” rapper is prepared to tell a jury that the mother of his alleged victim offered to drop all charges if she paid the family $25 million.
Although it isn’t clear when Minaj will take to the stand, she will be the defense’s star witness, according to TMZ.
Original report: 10/17/2017, 3:16 p.m.
Jelani Maraj, 38, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, is accused of sexually abusing a child younger than 13 years old—allegations he denies.
Despite the controversial charges, little sis is sticking by his side, according to the accused’s attorney, David Schwartz.
In a statement to Newsday, Schwartz claims the accusations are false and that Minaj remains loyal to her family, supporting Maraj “100 percent.”
“These are a bunch of lies. There’s a big, big motive to lie here, which I can’t get into right now. But these are false accusations.”
Jury selection began last Wednesday, with Maraj expected to be tried for up to three weeks in Long Island, N.Y.
The accused was arrested in connection with the case in 2015 and now faces charges of predatory sex assault against a child, course of sexual conduct against a child and acting in a manner to injure a child, according to People.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted of the most serious count, he could face life in prison.
While the “Anaconda” rapper has not publicly commented on her brother’s case, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that she is standing behind him. She reportedly posted his $100,000 bail and used two of her homes to back the amount, according to HotNewHipHop.
She also posted this photo congratulating Maraj on his wedding shortly after news of the sexual assault allegations went public.
I would cross the ocean for u. I would go & bring u the moon. Promise u. For u I will. I love my brother so much man. Can’t believe I cried during his wedding and his first dance like a punk. May God bless him and his union. Tonight has been one of my favorite nights of all time. I do anything to see my brothers smile.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.