Nicki Minaj’s brother could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
On Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, Jelani Maraj attempted to have his conviction set aside due to his claim of jury misconduct, according to Newsday.
However, New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald said Maraj “failed to meet the burden of proof that any misconduct here created a significant risk that a substantial right of the defendant was prejudiced.”
As a result, Maraj now faces life in prison.
In 2017, Maraj, 38, was convicted on charges of predatory sexual assault on a child and child endangerment. Prosecutors said that DNA evidence links Maraj to the abuse.
During the trial, the girl’s 10-year-old brother shared his experience of witnessing the abuse. The boy, whose room was next to his sister’s, revealed that he initially began to hear his sister’s bed squeaking at night and did not understand why.
The boy told jurors that he actually witnessed the abuse on one occasion. The pencil he was using had broken while doing homework, and he decided to look for his sister to get another one from her.
However, when he walked downstairs, he noticed something that he described as “weird.” The boy said that his sister’s panties were at her ankles, and Maraj’s underwear was down around his knees. The boy ran upstairs after witnessing the abuse.
Afterward, the boy said Maraj threatened him and slapped him 10 times in the face. He said that Maraj told him that he would never see his mother again if he told anyone.
Expert Erika Ziemak of the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed evidence about Maraj and the victim. The expert said semen was found on the child’s pajamas and that the semen was consistent with Maraj’s DNA. Furthermore, Ziemak said it was “less than a 1 in 348 billion” chance that the DNA on the pajamas belonged to someone else.
According to prosecutors, Maraj began raping the 11-year-old girl as often as four times per week. He was arrested in 2015 for the crime.
The incident reveals why it’s always important for parents to speak with their children about abuse and pay attention to the people their kids are around.
Maraj is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18.