Nicki Minaj Getting Closer with New BF ... A Convicted Sex Offender

12/10/2018 10:04 AM PST

Nicki Minaj Cozies Up to New BF Who is a Convicted Sex Offender

2:30 PM PST -- Nicki just admitted to the allegations, writing, "He was 15, she was 16 ... in a relationship. But go awf, internet. y'all can't run my life. Y'all can't even run y'all own life. Thank you boo."Nicki Minaj's new boo is a registered sex offender with a disturbing rap sheet that includes convictions for manslaughter and attempted rape ... TMZ has learned. 

Kenneth Petty is the 40-year-old she's been hanging with, and posting pics with on Instagram. Court records, obtained by TMZ, show he was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in April 1995. He was 16 at the time, and so was his victim.

Prosecutors said he used a sharp object when he tried to force the girl to have sexual intercourse. Petty served almost 4 years in NY state prison for the crime. 

And, get this ... years after getting out of the pen, Petty was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, and served another 7 years for shooting a man. He was released in 2013. 

She acknowledged their hometown connection by quoting Adele's "Hello" in the caption of their latest pic -- "Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happens? ... it's no secret ... that the both of us ... are running out of time."

They were reportedly friends from Queens.