Jelani Maraj was sentenced Monday in a Nassau County courtroom in the rape of a minor, who was 11 when the abuse started. He is set to spend 25 years to life in prison, according to TMZ. The defendant, brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, was found guilty in 2017 of predatory sexual assault on a child younger than 13 years old, and endangering the welfare of a child.
His legal team tried to paint the allegations as an extortion plot to bilk the famous sister out of $25 million. The prosecution, however, said medical and forensic evidence, and testimony from the victim and her little brother backed up the abuse claims, according to Newsday. Proof included semen found in the girl’s pajama pants.
Assistant District Attorney Emma Stone claimed at trial that Maraj threatened the victim not to step forward: The defendant said the girl would be put in foster care, that she would be blamed, and no one would believe her.
The state believed her.
“He used her and abused her to satisfy his sick sexual desires,” Slane said.
Defense lawyer David Schwartz said that rapper Minaj could testify at trial.
“There are 25 million reasons why this child was brainwashed to lie and make up these charges,” Schwartz said.
That testimony didn’t happen.
The victim has been identified as Maraj’s stepdaughter.
Maraj was convicted in 2017, but it took a while to reach his sentencing. The defense claimed there was some juror misconduct: panelists allegedly talked about the case before deliberations started. The guilty verdict remains intact, however, and Maraj could spend the rest of his days behind bars.
[Screengrab via ABC7NY]