Nicki Minaj’s brother has been slapped with divorce papers from his wife of a year just months after he was arrested over accusations that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
Jelani Maraj, 37, was arrested last December for allegedly raping the girl in Long Island, New York, on more than one occasion in 2015.
He was charged with felony rape charges including first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and predatory sexual assault in Nassau County, New York, and faces 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.
On August 18, Maraj’s wife, Jacqueline Robinson, filed divorce papers in Nassau County, just days before the couple would have celebrated their one-year anniversary.
Robinson has not publicly commented on the rape charges Maraj is facing.
But the divorce is labeled ‘Uncontested Matrimonial’, meaning both parties agree to divorce and may have already reached an agreement over the division of their assets and property. The case is still pending in New York court.
When Maraj was arrested in December 2015, Minaj, 33, posted his $100,000 bond. The bond was guaranteed by Minaj’s two homes she owns in nearby Baldwin, New York.
Maraj faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted and was recently offered a plea deal in the case
At the time, Maraj argued that the 12-year-old girl who accused him of rape confused him for a different man.
His legal counsel requested all evidence from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office including emails, cell phone records, texts, social media records and any other evidence relating to the minor communicating with or meeting older men.
Maraj’s lawyers said: ‘Our firm has a good faith basis to believe that the complainant in this case has had intimate physical contact with a man who is not the defendant in this case and who is older than 17 years of age and who may have caused there to be physical evidence of repeated vaginal and anal penetration of the complainant.’
Maraj, who faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted, is due in court in September for a conference in the case.
Last week, he was given four days to decide if he will take a plea deal, which prosecutors offered him last month, the New York Daily News reported.
Maraj, who according to his Twitter owns or owned a daycare center in Queens, New York, signed an adjournment in a Long Island court, according to the Daily News.
If Maraj decided not to take the deal and is found guilty, he could face life behind bars.
Maraj is accused of raping the victim, who sources previously told the Daily News was someone ‘he had access to’, several times between April and November.
He was arraigned in a Long Island hospital on December 4 on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual conduct against a child.
He had been arrested two days prior, but suffered an unknown medical condition that required him to be arraigned later at Nassau University Medical Center.
He appeared in public for the first time almost a week later on December 9 for a preliminary hearing on the rape charges.
At the hearing, he was accompanied by his mother Carol and lawyer Andrea Zellan. Minaj did not appear in court with them.
The name and gender of the victim is being withheld due to the nature of the crime and the fact that the individual is a minor.
Months before his arrest, Maraj married Robinson in a $30,000 wedding that was paid for by his superstar younger sister.
Minaj showed her support for her older brother by taking him bowling after posting his bond and at the time was ‘prepared to do anything for her brother’, according to Page Six.
After paying for Maraj and Robinson’s August wedding at the Coral House in Baldwin, New York, last year, Minaj said: ‘Jelani, I love u more than you’ll ever comprehend.’
Minaj, born Onika Maraj, added: ‘I would cross the ocean for u. I would go & bring u the moon. Promise u. For u I will. I love my brother so much man. Can’t believe I cried during his wedding and his first dance like a punk.
‘May God bless him and his union. Tonight has been one of my favorite nights of all time. I do anything to see my brothers smile.’
The Trinidad-born, New York-raised siblings are so close that she name-dropped him in three of her songs: I’m the Best, Top of the World, and All Things Go.
Source: Daily Mail