Nicki Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty, who was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in 1995, has pleaded guilty for failing to register as a sex offender. Via NBC News and Pitchfork, he had initially pleaded not guilty, but in August reached a deal with prosecutors, and formally entered a guilty plea yesterday, September 9th. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 24th, 2022.
In July of 2019, Petty moved from New York to California, at which time he was legally required to register. Law enforcement officials noted his failure to do so during a November 2019 traffic stop in Beverly Hills and arrested him. Petty walked free after posting $20,000 bail, but found himself arrested again in March of 2020 because he still hadn’t registered as a sex offender. In that instance, he was released on a $100,000 bond.
In 1994, Petty was accused of attempting to rape Jennifer Hough at knifepoint when they were both 16 years old. Hough said she managed to escape by hitting him with a bottle and fleeing. Petty served four years in prison, though he has continued to maintain his innocence.
Last month, Hough filed a lawsuit against Minaj and Petty, claiming that the couple “have directly and indirectly harassed her and threatened her to not speak about the incident.” Hough alleges Minaj offered her $500,000 to recant her rape allegations. She is seeking unspecified damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, harassment, witness intimidation, and sexual assault.
Minaj has not addressed the lawsuit, though she has publicly claimed that Petty and Hough were in a relationship at the time of the assault, and that he was wrongly accused of rape. As TMZ reports, Petty is suing the State of New York to remove his name from the sex offender registry.