Nicki Minaj, whose birth name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, has recently had her brother Jelani Maraj, has been been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for predatory sexual assault against a child, according to Pitchfork. Maraj was found guilty after a trial in 2017, and was also sentenced to 364-days in prison for endangering the welfare of a child.
He was first charged in this case back in 2016, when he was accused of repeatedly raping his 11-year old step daughter, a charge which Maraj and his lawyer David M. Schwartz have repeatedly denied. Schwartz has alleged that these charges were manufactured by the girl’s mother, as a part of an alleged $25 million extortion scheme. Last October, a judge in Nassau County denied a motion for his sentence to be overturned.
“We will be appealing this excessive sentence,” Schwartz explained in a statement to Pitchfork. “There was clear juror misconduct amongst other issues.”
Minaj has given some shoutouts to her siblings over the years, and even named Jelani Maraj in her 2010 song “I’m the Best,” featured on her major label debut album Pink Friday. She said that her siblings where the reasons “why i grind like I do,” in reference to her hustle.
The performer garnered attention last year after she was scheduled to perform in Saudi Arabia, a country which is known for very stringent laws in regards to women’s rights and freedoms, which are limited compared to many other countries. Minaj eventually cancelled her appearance in response to this blacklash.