A Nassau County Supreme Court Judge handed down the sentence on Monday.
After two years of proceedings Jelani Maraj, older brother of Nicki Minaj, learned his official fate on Monday afternoon. Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Robert McDonald sentenced Maraj to 25 years to life in prison. McDonald originally convicted Maraj on predatory sexual assault charges back in 2017.
The elder Maraj is accused of raping his 11-year old stepdaughter on multiple occasions beginning in 2015. The victim, as well as her younger brother reportedly testified in court. Maraj allegedly threatened the younger brother with violence if he were to speak up. The younger brother later notified school officials.
The case has been a hot-button issue for fans of Minaj. Minaj previously faced criticism for supporting her brother throughout the trial. According to Page Six, Minaj wrote a letter to the judge in 2016 in hopes to get her brother a more lenient sentence. In the letter, Minaj called her brother the “most patient, gentle, genuine, giving, selfless man I know.” Maraj’s lawyer David Schwartz read the letter in court before sentencing.
Maraj maintained his innocence but apologized in the courtroom. The unnamed victim testified in court, saying the abuse caused her to become suicidal.
The trial also garnered attention for accusations of juror misconduct. According to Judge McDonald, an alternate juror alleged other members of the jury “[couldn’t] wait for him to be found guilty” this past November.
Schwartz said Maraj plans to appeal the sentence. Nicki Minaj has yet to publicly comment.