Singer Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday for raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter, the New York Post reported.
Maraj was convicted on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child in November 2017, two years after his arrest, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The accuser testified at Maraj’s trial that the abuse began in April 2015, about four months before he married the girl’s mother. She testified that he anally raped her, smacked her, and warned her to not tell anyone about their repeated encounters, which she said lasted until November. Maraj was arrested the following month.
She also spoke at the sentencing on Monday, saying the abuse left her suicidal, according to the Post.
“I didn’t think I could make it through the day without an anxiety attack.“ she said. “I felt I had no voice.”
The girl’s brother also testified at the 2017 trial — when he was 10 — telling the court he caught Miraj raping his sister in their basement and recalled seeing her pants “around her ankles” and his “underwear close to his knees.”
He said Maraj later threatened that he would never see his mother again if he told anyone what he’d seen. The abuse ended and Maraj was arrested when the boy told a school administrator what he had seen.
Maraj and the children’s mother are no longer together.
Minaj did not appear in court to support her brother, although his attorney read a letter she had written in 2016 calling him the “most patient, gentle, genuine, giving selfless man I know.”
While Maraj did not speak at his trial and maintained his innocence throughout, he did speak at the sentencing.
“I’d like to apologize for the pain that I caused,” he said. “I had an excessive drinking problem.”
Maraj’s defense was that his former wife made up the allegations to extort him and his famous sister. His attorney said he intended to appeal.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
[Featured image: Nicki Minaj in 2017/Brent N. Clarke, Invision, AP and Jelani Maraj/Nassau County]