Petty was charged Feb. 25, 2020, for failing to register as a sex offender, which is a requirement under the 2006 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). He was later added to the California Megan’s Law database, which tracks sex offenders in the state of California, where Petty and Minaj reside with their son, whom the rapper gave birth to last year. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office announced in March 2020 that the charges were dropped against Petty, but if he were to be convicted of the same felony charge, he would face up to 10 years in prison, which is the statutory maximum.

The New York State department labels Petty as a level-two sex offender, which deems him of having a moderate risk of a repeat offense, all stemming from the 1994 attempted rape conviction.

In the lawsuit, Hough recounts the years after the alleged rape, claiming she felt “mentally and emotionally destroyed” and moved around a lot out of fear of returning to New York. But beginning in 2018, interest in her identity surged following Minaj’s viral comments about the case. Underneath a 2018 Instagram post, Minaj, 38, clapped back at those who continued to criticize Petty’s criminal past. “He was 15, she was 16… in a relationship. But go awf Internet.” In a 2019 episode of Minaj’s Queen Radio show on Apple Music, she told her fans, “You’ve gotta cover your husband in prayer” before saying that he was wrongfully accused of rape by Hough, whom she said wrote a letter recanting her statement, which Hough denies. “But white is right,” Minaj said later on in the episode (The filing states that Hough is biracial.)

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