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Nicki Minaj recently seemed to confirm a new relationship on Instagram, but some of the rapper’s fans have one major issue with her apparent new boyfriend: his criminal history.
Minaj celebrated her 36th birthday in Turks and Caicos over the weekend, and could be seen in multiple Instagram photos posing with her new partner, a man identified as Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, People reports. Petty was convicted in 1995 of attempted rape in the first degree in relation to a crime he committed against a 16-year-old girl the year prior, according to an online database of registered sex offenders in the New York area. "Prosecutors said he used a sharp object when he tried to force the girl to have sexual intercourse," TMZ reported.
He is a level 2 offender, and was sentenced to serve between 18 and 54 months in prison, the record states. He spent close to four years in prison for the crime, according to TMZ.
Additionally, Petty served seven years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of Lamont Robinson, a man Petty is alleged to have shot to death, according to court documents obtained by The Blast. Petty was released from prison in 2013, and remained on supervised release until May of this year, the outlet reports.
The reveal of Petty’s criminal history resulted in an onslaught of criticism for Minaj, who took to the comments section on Instagram to defend her relationship with Petty, according to The Blast.
“He was 15, she was 16… in a relationship,” she reportedly wrote. “But go awf [sic], internet, y’all can’t run my life. [Y]’all can’t even run y’all own life.”
Minaj is still posting romantic photos with Petty. She stands with her leg slung over Petty in one photo, while a series of candid selfies show Petty carrying Minaj in his arms and the two of them posing together in bed.
“Oh they wanna talk? Let’s give’m smthn [sic] to talk about,” Minaj captioned the selfies.
Minaj has since disabled comments on her recent Instagram uploads.
The “Barbie Dreams” rapper has repeatedly come under fire for seemingly supporting other men convicted of committing sexual crimes against children. Minaj recorded the song “FEFE” with controversial rapper Tekashi69, who was sentenced in October to community service and probation after pleading guilty last year to using a child in a sexual performance. Tekashi69, born Daniel Hernandez, was 18 years old when he appeared in a suggestive video with a nude 13-year-old girl. Now 22, he was arrested on racketeering and firearm charges just last month.
Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was also convicted last year of raping his 11-year-stepdaughter, a claim he has denied and said was part of an extortion plot masterminded by his ex-wife. Minaj did not comment publicly on the case, but did take her mother to visit her brother in jail, according to TMZ.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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