According to TMZ, Nicki Minaj‘s brother, Jelani Maraj, who was on trial for raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter, has been found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces 25 years to life behind bars, and will be sentenced on Dec. 14.
Prosecutors claimed in their opening arguments that soon after Jelani married wife Jacqueline Robinson, he began violating her daughter as often as four times a week for eight months. District attorney Emma Slane said the little girl’s eight-year-old brother witnessed some of those assaults, and that Jelani beat him once afterwards. He allegedly threatened to put the girl in foster care if she ever told anyone.
Jelani in 2015.
The defense said Jacqueline was lying about the abuse in order to get money from Jelani’s famous sister. They claimed she offered to “make the charges go away” if Nicki forked over $25 million. Jelani’s lawyer, David Schwartz, stated that was her plan all along: to marry Nicki’s brother in order to get money.
Jelani’s semen was found around the crotch of the child’s pajamas, but his lawyers claimed that it was all part of the shakedown, and that his wife planted the bodily fluids on her daughter’s clothing. “Why would she lie and force her children to lie? I can give you 25 million reasons why,” Jelani’s lawyer said, according to the Daily Mail. “Jackie became obsessed with Nicki Minaj, getting her hands on her money. An evil Jackie targeted him… trying to get him to marry her, and then just four months after they were married, we have this.” Nicki spent $30,000 on her big brother’s wedding in August 2015. Jacqueline filed for divorce days before their one-year anniversary.
Though it was reported that Nicki would testify in support of her brother, she never showed up to court. Nassau County D.A. Madeline Singas told TMZ, “We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process.”