Jelani Maraj Headed To Trial On Child Rape Charges
The young girl who accused Nicki Minaj’s older brother of repeatedly raping her said the man hit and threatened to sodomize her when she wouldn’t comply with his demands, prosecutors said Thursday.
The 12-year-old told prosecutors that when she didn’t go along with what Jelani Maraj wanted, he would resort to rape threats and physical violence, Nassau Assistant District Attorney Emma Slane said.
“He would make several threats to her,” Slane said in court Thursday. “If she resisted in any way, he would threaten to engage in anal intercourse with her, which she said would hurt her.”
Slane made the bombshell accusations against Maraj during a hearing in the sex crimes division of Nassau County Supreme Court and said she planned to use the girl’s contentions in Maraj’s upcoming trial.
Slane said she’d introduce evidence at trial that Maraj also used to hit the alleged victim to the point that she would start crying, and when the girl’s younger sibling walked in on Maraj allegedly abusing the girl, he warned the youngster not to tell anyone before slapping the kid in the face.
“After telling the child not to talk about what happened, he struck (the sibling) in the face,” Slane said. “These children were in fear of him.”
But Maraj’s lawyer, David Schwartz, argued not to introduce the allegations of physical violence, citing case law, and showed the judge pictures and video of the alleged victim seemingly happy with Maraj.
“This is not a character assassination against Mr. Maraj,” Schwartz said.
Maraj 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.
Prosecutors had initially offered the 39-year-old Maraj a plea agreement of 15 years to life, but Slane said Thursday that the offer was off the table after both sides couldn’t agree on how much time he should serve under a deal.
Maraj’s trial was supposed to start later this month, but the judge agreed to push it back until mid-April so that a member of the defense’s legal team could have surgery.