Long Island Supreme Court Judge Robert McDonald on Monday sentenced Jelani Maraj, the older brother of rap star Nicki Minaj, to 25 years to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in 2015 at his Long Island home.
“The defendant was convicted at trial of both counts submitted to the jury, Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child in violation of PL 130.96 (A-II felony) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child in violation of PL 260.10 (A misd),” the Nassau County District Attorney said in a statement, according to the HollywoodLife.
The trial against the rapper’s brother began in October 2017 as both the victim and her younger brother testified in the courtroom that Maraj had repeatedly raped her in 2015. In addition, DNA evidence recovered from the girl's pajamas was linked to the suspect.
Lawyers for Maraj asked the jury to reduce the rapist's sentence to the minimum of 10 years to life, complaining that the client suffered from health issues including hypertension, gout and anemia. The lawyers said they would appeal the judge’s decision.
“We will be appealing this excessive sentence. There was clear juror misconduct, amongst other issues,” David Shwartz, one of Maraj’s lawyers declared in a statement cited by HollywoodLife.
Minaj has not reportedly commented on the rape conviction for her older brother.