Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, has been arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in California.
Petty, 41, is said to have turned himself in to federal custody on Wednesday, March 4, for failing to register after relocating to Los Angeles from New York, where he had originally been registered.
Police were first made aware of the issue in November 2019, when a Beverly Hills officer came across Petty during a routine traffic stop and discovered he had yet to report himself as a sex offender.
He was arrested and released on $20,000 bond, but authorities say he never went through with the registration, as required under the 2006 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
In a statement made on Wednesday, as per USA Today, US Marshals Service spokesperson Lynzey Donahue said:
Kenneth Petty self-surrendered to the US Marshals in Los Angeles today.
Petty is facing charges for failure to register and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted of the felony charge.
After turning himself in, Petty appeared in court and pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors asked for Petty to be placed on house arrest, but his attorney objected and the request was denied.
Instead, he will have to wear an ankle monitor and abide by a curfew. Petty, who will post $100,000 bond, has had to surrender his passport, and he is banned from travelling outside of Southern California. He has also been told not to do drugs, including marijuana from legal dispensaries in LA.
Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape after he allegedly tried to force a 16-year-old girl to have sex with him in 1994. He ultimately served four years behind bars.
Following his release, Petty registered as a Level 2 sex offender on New York State’s Sex Offender Registry. However, he neglected to re-register when he moved to California in July 2019, shortly before he married rapper Minaj.
According to SORNA, a sex offender is ‘required to update their registration in each jurisdiction they reside, are employed, or attend school.’ Failure to register is considered a federal crime.
Minaj responded to the allegations about her now-husband in late 2018, when Instagram users criticised Petty about his criminal background.
Writing on Instagram, Minaj said:
He was 15. She was 16… in a relationship. But go awf [sic], Internet. Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.
The Anaconda singer announced her marriage to Petty in October 2019 by sharing an Instagram video showing ‘Mr. and Mrs.’ mugs and ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ baseball caps. She captioned the video with her new legal name, ‘Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty’.
A hearing for Petty’s failure to register is scheduled for March 23.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.