Nicki Minaj’s Sex Offender Husband Permitted to Travel With Her on Tour

James Devaney/GC Images
James Devaney/GC Images

Nicki Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty has been granted permission by a California district judge to travel internationally for Minaj’s upcoming Pink Friday 2 tour.

Petty pled guilty to the attempted rape of Jennifer Hough in 1995, stemming from an incident that occurred in September 1994 when she and Petty were both 16 years old. Hough alleged that Petty tried to assault her at knife point, after which she escaped the attack by throwing a bottle of contact solution at his head.

As part of the sentencing, Petty served four years in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender. In March 2020, he was arrested for failing to do so and was hit with a year of house arrest, a $50,000 fine, and three years of probation.

Now that he’s registered, completed his one year of confinement, and has seemingly complied with his probation, this week Petty filed a legal motion for permission to travel internationally with Minaj, “for his wife’s tour and her professional purposes,” according to the motion obtained by The Daily Beast.

“Mr. Petty and Mrs. Petty believe Mr. Petty is necessary to accompany the family on the tour for various purposes, including childcare,” the motion says of the planned travel, which is set to begin April 17 and continue periodically through July 14.

Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told The Daily Beast, “The government took no position [on whether or not Petty could leave the country], which means that they didn’t oppose it—so that made it a little bit easier for the judge to grant it.”

“It appears that he did serve his house arrest,” Rahmani added, “So it’s not surprising that the judge would grant a request like this for him to travel with his wife. He’s done his time and it seems like he’s been more or less compliant with the terms of probation.”

The motion was granted by a district court judge this week, with the stipulation that “Mr. Petty shall keep his probation officer updated with the details of his travel itinerary as needed,” and “At the conclusion of the travel, Mr. Petty must return to Los Angeles County and must check in with his probation officer upon returning.”

Though Petty was granted permission to leave the U.S., his status as a sex offender could still pose a threat to his entering some of the countries on the tour’s list of stops. As one X user pointed out, “Canada doesn't allow people who have had DUIs in, so I can’t see them allowing a sex offender in.” Said another, “He’s not getting in, Canada is super strict when it comes to letting in criminals.”

According to Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who has defended several high-profile clients, those users might have a point. “Given Petty’s status as a registered sex offender, his ability to travel to countries like Canada or the UK could be restricted,” Levin tells The Daily Beast. “In Canada, individuals with certain criminal convictions may be deemed inadmissible and denied entry. Similarly, the UK has rules regarding the entry of individuals with criminal records, and sex offenses are taken particularly seriously.”

But all hope isn’t lost, Levin says: “Exceptions or waivers may be granted in certain cases, especially if Petty can demonstrate that his travel is necessary for legitimate reasons. He may need to apply for special permission or waivers to enter Canada or the UK, and the decision will likely be made on a case-by-case basis.”

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