Nicki Minaj: Rapper’s Brother Found Guilty of Raping Stepdaughter
In December of 2015, Jelani Maraj, brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, was arrested and charged with child rape.
Today, TMZ is reporting Maraj has been found guilty of repeatedly raping his former stepdaughter, beginning when the girl was just 11 years old.
The 39-year-old is currently being held without bail and awaiting a December 14 sentencing hearing.
He faces 25 years to life in prison.
“We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process,” Nassau County D.A. Madeline Singas tells TMZ.
Before the trial began, lawyers for Maraj stated that they expect Nicki to take the stand as a character witness.
That never transpired, and thus far, she has yet to comment on her brother’s conviction.
Not long before Maraj’s arrest, his famous sister paid for his wedding and posted a lengthy Instagram caption about her love for her older brother.
“I would cross the ocean for [Jelani]. I love my brother so much man. Can’t believe I cried during his wedding and his first dance like a punk,” Minaj wrote at the time.
“May God bless him and his union. Tonight has been one of my favorite nights of all time. I do anything to see my brother smile.”
At that time, it was reported that Nicki planned to pay for her brother’s legal defense.
Nicki has yet to refute those rumors, and the negative reaction online has been so profound that the rapper has disabled comments on her Instagram page.
“Why are y’all mad about Nicki’s name being mentioned in the Jelani Maraj verdict? that’s her brother and she financially SUPPORTED him. Absolutely no sympathy for her,” wrote one Twitter user.
“How you spend money to support a pedophile?” asked another.
Both Maraj’s victim, now 14, and her brother took the stand to offer harrowing accounts of life with their stepfather.
The girl’s brother told the jury that he walked in on Maraj raping his younger sister on one occasion.
A forensics expert called by the prosecution matched was able to match Maraj’s DNA profile to a stain found on the girl’s pajamas.
Reps for Minaj did not provide any information on if or when the rapper will comment on the case.