Jelani Maraj, Nicki Minaj‘s older brother, has been formally charged with felony sexual assault against a child, online court records show. A grand jury in New York’s Nassau County indicted Maraj on April 4, and Maraj was due in court today for an arraignment, according to the records. Maraj was also indicted on two felony counts of sexual conduct against a child and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. The top charge alone carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. According to Bossip, which first reported the indictment, Maraj is also his sister’s employee. After Maraj’s arrest in December, Newsday cited sources as saying the alleged victim was 12 years old. Update (4/20, 9:44 a.m.): Maraj pleaded not guilty, and his next court appearance is set for May 26, records show.
Maraj has appeared in his sister’s lyrics. On “I’m the Best,” from 2010’s Pink Friday, Minaj names him and her younger brother as the reasons “why I grind like I do.” On “All Things Go,” from 2014’s The Pinkprint, she raps, “And I know Jelani will always love me, and I’ll always love him.”
Pitchfork has reached out to Maraj’s lawyer, the district attorney’s office, and Minaj’s spokespeople for comment.
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