Kenneth Petty might face serious consequences if he pleads guilty to failing to register as a sex offender, according to a California criminal attorney who spoke exclusively to HollywoodLife.
Kenneth Petty, Nicki Minaj’s husband, may avoid jail time after pleading guilty to failing to register as a sex offender in California on September 9th. The sex offender status of the 38-year-old “Super Bass” singer’s husband dates back to a 1995 conviction for first-degree attempted rape.
Petty faces a potential penalty of ten years in federal prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or double the gross loss caused by the offense. Petty could face a five-year period of supervised release and a $100 court assessment charge if he receives the minimum sentence at his sentencing hearing on Jan. 24, 2022.
Petty is due to be sentenced early next year, and California criminal attorney Eric D. Anderson has EXCLUSIVELY informed HollywoodLife how the case may or may not unfold. “Unless I’m completely familiar with the judge and the case, I rarely try to forecast what a judge will give. However, if he is sentenced, I would anticipate a term that is closer to the minimum than the maximum.”
Anderson described what Petty’s defense would say in order to get him the shortest sentence possible. “You may expect the defense to argue, as they should, that while his breach was troubling, it did not injure anyone,” the former prosecutor added. “And it’s not like they don’t know where he is, even though he didn’t register because of his celebrity.
‘Everyone knows where they can always find him,’ they’d add. He has nowhere to hide and is possibly one of the most well-known people on the planet. And, in terms of celebrities, he’s not a big name, but he’s certainly more well-known than you or me. And, of course, he’s married to one of the world’s most famous musicians.”
After being convicted of first-degree attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1995, Petty is obliged to register as a sex offender. He was sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison, but only served four. In New York, Petty is a level two registered offender, which means he poses a moderate risk of reoffending. After being indicted for failing to register as a sex offender, Petty was detained by US Marshals in March 2020. Petty pleaded not guilty and posted $100,000 bail at the time.
“The courts will be confronted with the conundrum of, ‘ Okay, I get your point, but just because he’s famous now doesn’t mean he was famous when he was arrested. When he was first forced to register, he wasn’t well-known. He knew what he should have done, but he didn’t. What about five years of supervised probation? I can see him getting it, but I can also see him being on a short leash as a result… I can see the Court imposing a slew of conditions on him, and if he violates any of his probation terms, I can see the Court sending him to prison very quickly.”
Jennifer Hough, the victim, filed a lawsuit against Petty and Minaj in August. The couple was accused of “harassment” and “witness intimidation,” according to her. She claims the couple tried to bribe her into recanting the rape, and the suit claims Minaj went so far as to bribe Hough. Petty is under a curfew and his travel is limited to California as part of his current probation restrictions.
Minaj and Petty married in secret in October 2019 and have an 11-month-old baby together.