Being a celebrity is tough and demanding, even more so when you are linked to problematic people who drag your name and reputation through the mud with their actions. Nicki Minaj and her family have been dealing with a particularly dark and turbulent period in their lives since her brother Jelani Maraj was accused and tried for raping a child. Although Nicki Minaj’s brother is older than her, his terrible actions suggest that he is not one to set the right example for his siblings.
The case has gained a lot of attention because of the high profile status of the offender, who happens to be related to the award-winning rapper. So far, Nicki Minaj has avoided talking about her brother’s rape conviction, preferring to keep her distance from the case so she doesn’t face any more backlash for his crimes. Due to the serious nature of his crimes, Nicki Minaj’s brother is looking at 25 years to life in prison as punishment for his reprehensible actions.
What Jelani Maraj Does For a Living
Jelani Maraj was born in Trinidad in 1979. He and Nicki Minaj spent their early childhood years in the country, but life was not breezy or normal for them. Their father was a violent and temperamental man who was addicted to alcohol and drugs, so their home was a volatile environment. In 1987, their father burned down their house, so Jelani and Nicki had to go stay with their grandmother. They immigrated to Queens, New York when Jelani was 10 to join their mother who had moved there two years prior.
There is little information available regarding Jelani’s academic history or what schools he attended. However, he owns a daycare institution in Queens called Ozone Park and had intentions of opening another one in New Jersey before his arrest threw a wrench in his plans. According to Nicki Minaj’s brother, children give him peace of mind and he just loves looking at their cute faces because it takes away stress and pressure.
A few months before his legal troubles began, Jelani Maraj married his longtime girlfriend Jaccqueline Robinson in a lavish ceremony held at Coral Houses in Baldwin, New York. Nicki doled out over $30,000 to pay for the wedding.
What Was He Charged With?
On December 3, 2015, Jelani was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, predatory sexual assault against a child, felony sexual conduct against a child under 13 years, and endangering the welfare of a child. His trial held at Nassau County Supreme Court and was presided over by Judge Robert McDonald.
The victim was an 11-year-old girl who was his former stepdaughter and he raped her on multiple occasions while her mother was away at work. According to the girl’s testimony, Jelani told her she had no say in what he was doing to her and if she ever tried to resist his abuse, he would have her taken away from her mother.
The victim’s 10-year-old brother also took the stand to testify that he witnessed Jelani raping his sister. He testified that Nicki Minaj’s brother slapped his face about 10 times and threatened that the boy would never see his sister again if he told anyone what he had seen.
The girl’s medical records and DNA evidence were also presented to corroborate the testimony of the witnesses. On November 9, 2017, Jelani was convicted of rape against a minor and child endangerment.
Where Is Nicki Minaj’s Brother Now?
Since his rape conviction, Jelani’s lawyers have stated that they intend to appeal the case and have his charges squashed. They claimed, quite dubiously, that the case was just an attempt to extort $25 million from Nick Minaj’s brother.
Although Jelani is set to face 25 to life, he is yet to be sentenced as the court is still investigating allegations of misconduct on the part of the jury. If proven sufficiently, this might be enough to warrant a retrial for Nicki Minaj’s brother. However, things are not looking very good for him.
The judge is yet to decide whether to overturn the verdict or hand out a sentence. There have been some rumors going around, claiming that the reason for delaying sentencing Jelani is because he is working out a plea deal. These statements have not yet been confirmed, but in the meantime, Jelani remains tucked away in prison.