A jury on Thursday convicted superstar rapper Nicki Minajr's brother of raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter on Long Island.
Maraj, who has denied the accusations, was found guilty of predatory sexual assault on the child at his Long Island home by jurors at Nassau County courtroom in NY on Thursday (9 November), CBS News has reported.
The New York Daily News reported that a Nassau County jury deliberated for two days to find Jelani Maraj, 38, guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
During the trial, Maraj's lawyer contended the rape allegations were made up 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.
The accuser, who is now 14, testified that 38-year-old Maraj anally raped her, slapped her in the face and ordered her to remain silent about his actions.
He faces 25 years life behind bars when he is sentenced next month.
This photo provided by the Nassau County Police Department shows Jelani Maraj, 37, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in Mineola, N.Y.
Prosecutors said DNA evidence recovered from the girl's pajama trousers was linked to Maraj. She told jurors Maraj treated her as if she was his own daughter before the abuse began.
"The amount of evidence that we had that wasn't allowed in this case is unbelievable", the Garden City lawyer added. We're told Minaj never planned to take the stand, and her bro's legal team telling news outlets she was on their witness list was simply false.
In her testimony, Maraj's former wife denied an extortion plot and denied forcing her children to go along with a made-up tale of abuse.
The judge set sentencing for December 14.
James R Ray III, a civil attorney who briefly represented the mother, testified that he did demand a $25m legal settlement from Jelani Maraj after he had been arrested, but said the girl's mother was unaware of the demand.