Nicki Minaj's brother guilty of repeatedly raping 11 year old girl

By Maame Aba Afful
Jelani Maraj & Nicki Minaji

Nicki Minaj's brother has been found guilty of repeatedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter while her mother was at work.

Jelani Maraj, 38, was convicted of predatory sexual assault on a child, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces up to life in prison, but Maraj's lawyer says he plans to appeal.

At the conclusion of the trial on Thursday, Maraj was led out of Nassau County Court in handcuffs and was taken to the county jail, where the presiding judge ordered him held without bail pending his sentencing hearing.

Maraj's lawyers said during a nearly one-month trial that the rape allegations were concocted by the girl's mother as part of a scheme to get Nicki Minaj to pay the family $25million in hush money.

The prosecutor told the jurors it will be up to them to determine whether the testimony of the two children was credible.

'Why tell this lie?' Slane asked jurors. 'This isn't a Broadway show. It's real life with real-life consequences.'

Defense attorney David Schwartz said in his summation that a lawyer for the girl's mother contacted Maraj's lawyer saying, 'if she was paid $25million, these charges could just go away.'

'It's about money and it's about revenge,' Schwartz said. 'This is an old-fashioned shakedown.'

The girl's mother denied that the accusations were made up.

James R. Ray III, a civil attorney who briefly represented the mother, testified that he did demand $25'million from Jelani Maraj after he had already been arrested to settle a potential civil lawsuit, but he said the girl's mother was unaware of the demand.

'She was never involved as far as what we did,' he testified. The woman later fired him as her attorney.

Neither Maraj nor his sister testified at the trial, even though defense lawyers during opening arguments that the rapper was on the witness list. 

A spokesman for Minaj's record label did not respond to an email seeking comment on the case. Ghana News