The Driver Who Hit and Killed Nicki Minaj’s Father Has Been Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison

Rapper Nicki Minaj‘s father died in 2021 after being struck by a driver in Mineola, Long Island. Now, the man behind the wheel during the incident is facing prison time for the crime of one year.

Nicki Minaj arrives to the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating 'In America: An Anthology of Fashion'
Nicki Minaj arrives to the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ | James Devaney/GC Images

Nicki Minaj’s father died in 2021 after being hit by a driver

In February 2021, Charles Polevich was driving a 1992 Volvo station wagon when he struck Robert Maraj, the father of superstar rapper Nicki Minaj. Prosecutors said he initially checked to see if Maraj was O.K. before he drove off, leaving him on the side of the road. He went home and covered his car with a tarp in his garage.

The 72-year-old Polevich said in court that he’s “been heartsick since realizing the extent of the tragedy” and that there was “no excuse” for his behavior.

In May 2022, Polevich pled guilty to leaving the scene and tampering with evidence in the hit-and-run case. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Minaj’s mother and Maraj’s widow Carol Maraj wasn’t happy with how the court sentenced Polevich. According to the Associated Press, she said in court that Polevich had left her husband “like a dog on the street” and that his short prison sentence was a “slap in the face for the family.”

Prior to the hit-and-run crash, Polevich had been splitting his time between Long Island and Guam, where he runs a drilling and water purification business.

The man was sentenced to one year in prison

Prosecutors initially sought a sentence of one to three years behind bars, but a Nassau County judge said in May 2022 when Polevich pled guilty that he would get “no more than one year in jail.” The district attorney’s office felt that he deserved a longer sentence “given the severity of the defendant’s conduct.”

Polevich’s lawyer asked for a 90-day jail sentence, citing other factors that led to the crash, including road construction, street lights that weren’t working, and Maraj’s physical condition.

Carol Maraj, meanwhile, is suing over the crash.

Nicki Minaj’s relationship with her father

Growing up, Nicki Minaj witnessed her father’s alcohol abuse firsthand. At one point, he even burned their house down.

After his death in 2021, Minaj shared her thoughts on her website.

“I can say it has been the most devastating loss of my life. I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone,” she wrote. “May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved and will be very missed.”

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