The brother of multi-platinum selling rapper, Nicki Minaj, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison by a New York court for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.
According to Independent, Jelani Maraj was found guilty of “predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.” He was convicted in 2017 after being arrested two years prior. His sentencing was heard Monday.
The victim, who testified during the trial, recounted Maraj’s series of sexual assaults on her, claiming it happened four times in a week and twice in a day at times.
According to her, the ordeal she went through made her suicidal.
“I didn’t think I could make it through the day without an anxiety attack,” she said. “I felt I had no voice.”
The victim’s brother, who also took the stand during the trial, revealed he witnessed one of Maraj’s assaults on her sister, Independent further reports.
Nicki Minaj did not testify during the trial though her brother’s lawyer claimed she would. A letter that was written by the rapper in 2016 pleading for a reduction in Maraj’s sentence was, however, read by his lawyer.
In the letter, the Queen rapper claimed her brother is the “most patient, gentle, genuine, giving selfless man” she knows.
Maraj also pleaded for leniency, claiming he had issues with alcoholism and asked for a “second chance”, according to the Associated Press. One of his lawyers also sought a 10-year sentence on the grounds that Maraj had a string of health problems including hypertension, gout and anemia.
Maraj was sentenced by Judge Robert McDonald.
“We hope that today’s verdict will help the family in the healing process,” the Nassau County D.A. told TMZ after the verdict.
Maraj, however, plans to appeal the sentencing.
Nicki Minaj visited her brother when he was behind bars in 2017. TMZ, however, reports that she accompanied her mother to support her.