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(L-R) Micaiah Maraj, Carol Maraj and Jelani Maraj | Source: Chance Yeh / Getty

A judge in Nassau County has refused to overturn Nicki Minaj‘s brother Jelani’s conviction on sexual assault charges.

State Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald denied Jelani Maraj’s appeal to set aside a verdict convicting him of raping his former stepdaughter. Maraj was convicted two years ago of sexually assaulting the girl when she was 11 years old. During the trial, the victim testified that Maraj called her “his puppet” while sexually assaulting her on numerous occasions between April and November 2015 while her mother was at work.

Maraj originally alleged that the assault allegations were fabricated to try and extort $25 million from his sister. His trial attorney, David Schwartz, said there was “clear jury misconduct” as “outside influences” such as social media posts, news articles and more “affected that verdict” of “at least a few jurors.”

Maraj is set to be sentenced on November 18 on charges of predatory sexual assault on a child and child endangerment. He faces up to life in prison.

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