Nicki Minaj‘s husband, Kenneth Petty, 43, may avoid jail time after he plead guilty on Sept. 9th to failing to register as a sex offender in California. The 38-year-old “Super Bass” singer’s husband’s status as a sex offender stems from a 1995 conviction for first-degree attempted rape.
Petty faces a maximum 10-year sentence in federal prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross loss resulting from the offense. However, if he receives the minimum penalty at his Jan. 24, 2022 sentencing hearing, Petty could face as little as a five-year period of supervised release and a $100 court assessment fee.
California criminal attorney, Eric D. Anderson, EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife how the case may or may not unfold as Petty is scheduled to be sentenced early next year. “I rarely try to guess what a judge will give unless I’m fully familiar with the judge and the case. That said, IF he gets any time, I would expect a sentence closer to the minimum than the maximum.”
Anderson explained what Petty’s defense might argue to try and get Petty the minimum sentence allowed. “You can expect the defense to argue, as they should, that his violation, while problematic, was not harmful to anybody,” the former prosecutor said. “And even though he didn’t register because of his fame, it’s not like they don’t know where he is. They’d say, ‘Everybody knows where they can always find him. He can’t go anywhere to hide and he’s arguably one of the most famous people in the world. And as far as celebrities go, he’s not a big star but he’s certainly more famous than you or I are. And, of course, he’s married to one of the most famous music artists on the planet.”
Petty is required to register as a sex offender after being convicted for the first-degree attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1995. He was sentenced to 18 to 54 months, but spent four years in prison. Petty is a level two registered offender in New York, which means he’s considered a moderate risk of repeat offense. Petty was arrested by US Marshals in March 2020 after being indicted for failure to register as a sex offender. At the time, Petty pleaded not guilty and posted $100,000 bail.
“The problem that the courts will have is going to be, ‘Okay I see that but the problem is, just because he’s famous now doesn’t mean he was famous when he got the charge. He wasn’t famous when he was first required to register. He knows what he’s supposed to do and he didn’t do. The idea of supervised probation for five years? I could see him getting that, but I could also see him being on a short leash because of that… I can see the Court requiring numerous conditions on him and should he violate any probation terms, being inclined to send him to prison rather quickly for any violations.”
Meanwhile, the victim, Jennifer Hough, filed a lawsuit against Petty and Minaj in August. She accused the couple of “harassment” and “witness intimidation”. She’s accusing the couple of trying to force her to recant the rape, and the suit even alleges that Minaj even went so far as to bribe Hough. As part of Petty’s current terms of his probation, he has a curfew and his travel is restricted to California.
Minaj and Petty secretly married in October 2019 and they share a son, 11 months.