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Jelani Maraj was convicted in 2017

By Chris Harris
January 27, 2020 02:15 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: Nicki Minaj's brother arrives for the start of his child sex trial
Credit: SplashNews

The older brother of rapper Nicki Minaj received a prison sentence of 25 years to life in prison, PEOPLE confirms.

Two years after his conviction for child rape, Jelani Maraj, 40, was back in a Long Island courtroom on Monday morning, where he was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald, a Nassau County District Attorney’s Office source tells PEOPLE.

At a minimum, Maraj will serve 25 years for his crimes.

After a month-long trial, Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault on a child younger than 13 years old and endangering the welfare of a child.

Maraj was first arrested in connection with the case in early December 2015.

Jelani Maraj
Jelani Maraj
| Credit: Nassau County Police Department/AP

During his trial, the defense argued that the allegations were fabricated in an attempt to extort $25 million from Maraj’s famous sister.

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PEOPLE learns post-trial motions submitted by Maraj’s attorneys delayed his sentencing.

Prosecutors presented evidence at trial showing Maraj started abusing the victim when she was 11, and raped her repeatedly between April and November 2015 while her mother was working.

The girl testified that Maraj called her “his puppet” and said she had “no say” in the things that were being done to her. She also testified that if she refused his advances, he would physically attack her.

Minaj has never commented publicly on her brother’s case.