Petty, 43, pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender during a Zoom hearing with the Los Angeles Federal Court on Thursday, September 9.
Minaj’s husband, with whom she shares her 11-month-old son, wore a black suit and sat next to his attorney during the hearing. “Yes, your Honor,” he replied when asked by the judge if he entered into the plea agreement willingly.
Petty’s charge stems from his failure to register as a sex offender when he moved to California in 2019. He and the “Bang Bang” rapper, 38, wed in October of that year.
More than two decades before he married Minaj, Petty was convicted of attempted rape in New York in 1995 — for an incident that occurred with a 16-year-old girl in September 1994. He served approximately four and a half years in prison, according to inmate records. As a condition of his conviction, he must register as a sex offender whenever he moves.
Petty’s sentencing hearing for the registration failure is scheduled for January 24. According to the prosecution, he could face 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 sentence, Petty could face as little as a five-year period of supervised release and a $100 court assessment fee.
The “Anaconda” rapper previously defended her beau after fans questioned why she would date a registered sex offender.
“He was 15, she was 16 … in a relationship,” Minaj replied to a fan via Instagram in December 2018, shortly after going public with the pair’s romance. “But go awf, Internet. Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”
The 1995 incident isn’t Petty’s only run-in with the law over the past two decades. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after shooting a man four years prior in New York. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and served seven, The Blast reported.
According to court records, Petty was released in May 2013 and remained under supervised release for five years.
Once out of jail, Petty found love with Minaj, who he previously dated before she became famous. The couple announced their rekindled relationship in December 2018 with a sexy Instagram photo.
The “I’m Legit” musician revealed in July 2019 that the pair got their second marriage license, ultimately tying the knot three months later. They welcomed their son, whose name they have yet to announce, in September 2020.
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez