Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Nicki Minaj's brother found guilty in child sex assault case

Nicki Minaj's brother found guilty in child sex assault case

Jelani Maraj is facing a maximum of life behind bars if he is convicted on a felony second-degree charge of sexual conduct, while he is also fighting a misdemeanour count of acting in a manner likely to injure a child.

Maraj had consistently denied the allegations, but a jury convicted him of endangering the welfare of a child and of predatory sexual assault on a child younger than 13 at a court in Nassau County, New York, the DA's spokesperson Brendon Brosh told People magazine. Maraj's lawyers said during a almost one-month trial that rape allegations were concocted by the girl's mother as part of a scheme to get Nicki Minaj to pay the family $25 million in hush money, but in closing arguments Monday, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Emma Slane called that claim "absolute absurdity". Maraj was arrested in December 2015 on multiple child rape charges.

His lawyer said that the verdict will be appealed.

But Ray III insists the girl's mother was unaware of the demand.

The trial, which lasted for a month, saw the defence argue that the accusations against Maraj were made in an attempt to extort $25m (£19m) from his famous sister.

After the jurors delivered the sentence, Maraj was taken back to jail as his $100,000 bail was revoked. He told the court he had made the monetary demand but that the girl's mother was in the dark.

Police confirmed that they had found Maraj's semen on the girl's pajamas, but the defense claimed the girl and her mother planted the evidence. Forbes said she was No. 16 in earnings among rappers in 2017 with $16 million.

The accuser, now 14, girl testified that Maraj, 38, anally raped her at one point, slapped her in the face and ordered her to remain mute about his actions. A scientist testified the DNA was a 1 in 291 billion match to Maraj. A relative also testified to witnessing an assault.

Nicki Minaj was rumored to testify on her brother's behalf but didn't end up doing so.

Minaj's father is half-Indian, making her one-quarter Indian.

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