Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, was sentenced 25 years imprisonment for predatory sexual assault after being charged with repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl, reports said Monday.
Maraj, 37-year-old, together with his mother Carol and lawyer Andrea Zellan, arrived at the Nassau County courthouse in Mineola, New York, on Wednesday, to attend a hearing given a scheduled date for his trial.
The judgment arrived following his 2017 sentence for sexually assaulting his former stepdaughter in their Baldwin home where State Supreme Court Justice, Robert McDonald, decided to set aside Maraj’s conviction after an inquiry into potential jury misconduct has been observed.
During the 2017 case, the victim had testified about the sexual assaults made by Marajclaiming that the assaults occurred as frequently as four times a week and sometimes even twice a day, between April and November 2015.
The victim’s younger brother had also testified at the trial that he witnessed one incident of assault. Reports said that the 10-year-old detailed to jurors at Nassau County Supreme Court that he walked into a basement of his home looking for his sister, who was 11 at the time and explained why he was looking for her with this response:
"My pencil broke and I didn't have any others."
The boy, who was eight at the time, claimed he found his sister’s pants "around her ankles".
"I saw his underwear close to his knees," he testified about Maraj.
"I thought it wasn't right," the boy said. "It looked weird to me so I ran upstairs."
The boy alleged he was slapped by Maraj, after he was asked if he saw anything.
In connection, prosecutors said that DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pajama pants was linked to Maraj.
However, Maraj’s attorney David M. Schwartz said,
“We will be appealing this excessive sentence. There was clear juror misconduct amongst other issues.”
Maraj was first charged in the case in April 2016, when he was accused of repeatedly raping his stepdaughter. For his defense, Schwartz had then claimed at various points that the victim’s allegations were part of her mother’s conspiracy to extort $25 million from him and Minaj.
James R. Ray III, a civil attorney, however, testified that he had demanded $25 million from Jelani Maraj after he had already been arrested to settle, reports said. Ray added that the victim’s mother was unaware of the demand.
“She was never involved as far as what we did.”
Jelani was released from Nassau County jail after his £66,117 bond was allegedly paid for by his sister, Nicki.
Recently, Jelani made headlines along with his famous sister Nicki when he married long term girlfriend Jacqueline Robinson on August 22, 2015 where Nicki shared photos from the day, captioning one picture: "Jelani, I love u more than you’ll ever comprehend."
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