Jelani Maraj was sentenced by Judge Robert McDonald in the Nassau County Court on Monday in New York. This comes after Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child in 2017. These charges stem from accusations that Maraj sexually abused his former stepdaughter.
Maraj and his attorney plan to appeal the conviction and sentence. Per Newsday, Maraj has claimed from the beginning that the accusations were concocted to siphon money from his famous sister. His legal team also feels like certain errors by the jury should cast doubt on his conviction. Yet Judge McDonald explained that "not every misstep by a juror rises to the inherent and prejudicial level at which reversal is required."
Maraj was arrested in December 2015. Both the victim and the victim's brother testified against Maraj during the trial. The victim claims that the abuse started when she was 11 years old between April and November 2015 while her mother was at work. Maraj would call her his "puppet."
As for her brother, he said that he saw Maraj touching his sister in the bedroom while they were partially clothed. He would later reveal what he saw to child protective services. This sparked an investigation into the matter and Maraj's eventual arrest.