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Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj was convicted Thursday of predatory sexual assault after being charged with repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl at his Long Island, New York home.
Jurors delivered their verdict on the second day of deliberations in Maraj’s trial. The charges carry the potential for 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 14, according to WPIX. Maraj, 38, was led away in handcuffs after bail was revoked following his conviction.
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Maraj did not appear to react when the verdict was read in a Nassau County courtroom. His lawyer said he will appeal. He contended the rape allegations were concocted by the girl’s mother as part of a scheme to get Nicki Minaj to pay the family $25 million in hush money, a claim prosecutors called absurd.
“We have 50 appealable issues,” David Schwartz said. “The amount of evidence we have that wasn’t allowed in this case is unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like it. I am shocked.”
The girl, now 14, testified in excruciating detail about sexual assaults that she said occurred as frequently as four times a week and sometimes twice a day, mostly when Maraj was home alone with the girl.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence recovered from the girl’s pajama pants was linked to Maraj. The girl’s younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault.
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