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Two years after being found guilty, Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, has just been sentenced to 25 years to life for child rape.
Back in 2017, Maraj was tried and found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. The child involved was his then, 11-year-old stepdaughter. The brother of the victim had witnesses Maraj assaulting his sister and told school officials. During the trial, the victim testified that Maraj had repeatedly raped her in the family’s home while he was married to her mother, starting back in April 2015.
Maraj has maintained his innocence, claiming the story was an attempt to extort his sister for $25 million. During the sentencing, Maraj said, “I’d like to apologize for the pain that I caused. I had an excessive drinking problem,” he said, adding that he’s “just asking for mercy from the court.”
Before the sentencing, Judge Robert McDonald, told Maraj that from his view “you ruined this child.” “You raped this child. You raped her over and over again,” McDonald said.
Maraj’s lawyer, David Shwartz, told Pitchfork in a statement, that, “We will be appealing this excessive sentence. There was clear juror misconduct amongst other issues.”
Written by Clarke Jones