Jelani Maraj, the older brother of Nicki Minaj, has been sentenced to 25 years to life for child rape.
Maraj was convicted in 2017 for repeatedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter in their Long Island home. His stepdaughter testified during the three-week trial saying that Maraj raped her and would slap her to keep her quiet about the encounters.
“He would call me his puppet and told me I had no say in what he did to me,” she stated in October 2017, saying Maraj sexually abused her on multiple occasions.
She said that the first assault took place in April 2015 in his bedroom.
“He told me to take off my pants...He told me to come under the covers with him, and he started to caress my back,” she said. “He took off his boxers… after that, we had sex.”
She continued, “I was on my forearms on the bed and my pants were pulled down.”
The abuse continued for months, even after her brother allegedly walked in Maraj assaulting her. She says she told her younger brother not to say anything to her mother about the abuse.
Police also said they found Maraj’s semen on the girl’s pajamas, but his attorney argued that it was planted there by her mother.
Maraj has adamantly denied the allegations. He claims that the entire thing was made up by his then wife to extort $25 million.
Juror Arthur Naclerio said that it was difficult listening to their testimonies.
“What (the victim) went through all that time,” he said. “Thinking that if it was a lie, how could she keep it up that long at that age?”