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Nicki Minaj’s brother handed 25-year minimum for assaulting 11-year-old girl

A judge convicted Jelani Maraj of predatory sexual assault and child endangerment.

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Jelani Maraj (Nassau County Police Department via AP, File)

Jelani Maraj (Nassau County Police Department via AP, File)

Jelani Maraj (Nassau County Police Department via AP, File)

The brother of rapper Nicki Minaj has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at his home.

A judge convicted Jelani Maraj of predatory sexual assault and child endangerment in November 2017. The victim gave evidence during the trial that Maraj repeatedly raped her in 2015 in Long Island while her mother was at work.

Prosecutors have said DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pyjamas was linked to Maraj. The girl’s younger brother also gave evidence at the trial that he witnessed one assault.

Maraj’s lawyer appealed against the conviction in 2018, claiming there was jury misconduct. The judge ruled in October that the defence did not meet the necessary burden of proof.

Maraj said in court on Monday that he had an alcohol problem and asked for a “second chance”.

One of his lawyers said he suffered from health issues including hypertension, gout and anaemia and requested a minimum sentence of 10 years to life.

Maraj’s appellate attorney, Stephen Scaring, said he plans to appeal against the judge’s decision.

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