Nicki Minaj's brother sentenced to 25 years to life

MTV Europe Music Awards Press Room - Press Room - Bilbao

(AP) - The brother of rapper Nicki Minaj has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at his home in Long Island, New York.

A judge convicted Jelani Maraj of predatory sexual assault and child endangerment in November 2017. The victim testified during the trial that Maraj repeatedly raped her in 2015 while her mother was at work.

Prosecutors have said DNA evidence recovered from the girl's pyjama pants was linked to Maraj. The girl's younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault.

Asked for a 'second chance'

Maraj's attorney appealed conviction in 2018, claiming that there was jury misconduct. The judge ruled in October that the defence did not meet the necessary burden of proof.

Maraj said in court Monday that he had an alcohol problem and asked for a "second chance." One of his attorneys said he suffered from health issues including hypertension, gout and anemia and requested the minimum sentence of 10 years to life.

Maraj's appellate attorney, Stephen Scaring, said he plans to appeal the judge's decision.

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TOPSHOT - Trinidadian-US rapper Nicki Minaj poses backstage with her awards during the MTV Europe Music Awards at the Bizkaia Arena in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao on November 4, 2018. (Photo by ANDER GILLENEA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Nicki Minaj arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 06: Nicki Minaj arrives for the 2019 Met Gala celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
INDIO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande perform on Coachella Stage during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 14, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG)
American rapper, songwriter, and actress, Nicki Minaj arrives at the music streaming service Tidal´s office in Oslo, on March 4, 2019. (Photo by Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB Scanpix / AFP) / Norway OUT (Photo credit should read OLE BERG-RUSTEN/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Young M.A, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Clue attend Church On Sundays Hosted By Nicki Minaj And Phil The Mayor And DJ Clues Birthday Party at The Argyle on February 8, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images)
BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04: Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix, Nicki Minaj, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson of Little Mix perform on stage during the MTV EMAs 2018 at Bilbao Exhibition Centre on November 04, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for MTV)
BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04: Nicki Minaj poses in the Winners room during the MTV EMAs 2018 on November 4, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04: Nicki Minaj poses in the Winners room after winning Best Hip Hop Award during the MTV EMAs 2018 at Bilbao Exhibition Centre on November 4, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for MTV)
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