Jelani Maraj Charged With Raping & Sodomizing Tween Girl
Nicki Minaj’s brother has pulled out the big guns in his fight against charges that he repeatedly raped a 12-year-old girl.
Jelani Maraj’s legal team filed a flurry of motions last month in opposition to the case, questioning the legality of the top charge, to suppress evidence found at Maraj’s house and asking the court to reveal details about the alleged victim’s sexual history.
Maraj was arrested in 2015 for allegedly raping and sodomizing a tween girl over a period of eight months, with the last assault allegedly occurring the day before cops caught him. He is facing felony charges of predatory sexual assault against a child and sexual conduct against a child – but has insisted that the alleged victim was having sex with other people, but just not him.
“We believe the truth will come out, David Schwartz, Maraj’s lawyer, told us. “The complaining witness in the case and others have a real motive in this case to lie, this never occurred and Jelani is completely innocent.”
Maraj rejected prosecutors deal of 15 years to life after they said they found evidence of his semen on his accuser’s pants.
But Maraj’s attorney said things aren’t what they seem, and he’s asked the judge to let him introduce evidence about the alleged victim’s sex life.
“The bottom line is we believe we will have a full defense of any medical evidence in this case of a sexual nature,” the lawyer said, adding that the girl isn’t telling the truth, but declined to elaborate.
“So far, the public has only heard the allegations against him,” Schwartz said. “In this case, Jelani is innocent. The trial is going to be a real search for the truth. We are going to show why the complaining witness is lying.”
Schwartz told BOSSIP that he’s asked the judge to dismiss the top charge because he said both charges have the same elements, which make it unconstitutional. He also said the top charge – which would put Maraj in prison for life if convicted – should be thrown out because prosecutors didn’t spell out exactly what Maraj was being accused of in their statute, and only quoted the portion of the constitution that the recent divorcee allegedly violated.
“In the interest of justice, we think the top count should be dismissed,” Schwartz told BOSSIP.
Schwartz also moved to suppress evidence obtained by a warrant that he said was “bad.” The police officer who served the warrant said in an affidavit that he believed he had “reasonable cause” to search – not “probable cause,” which is the legal standard.
“Reasonable cause just doesn’t cut it,” he said. “We think it’s bad.”
Nicki Minaj is believed to be bankrolling her older brother’s legal team, which also includes a private investigator. Maraj’s case became fodder for Remy Ma, who mentioned it in her eviscerating diss track against Nicki Minaj.
The case is headed to trial later this month.
A spokesman for the Nassau District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.