Attorney For Jelani Maraj Says Prosecutors Abused Their Judgment
Nicki Minaj’s brother isn’t backing down from trying to poke holes in his child rape case.
Jelani Maraj’s lawyer filed court docs this week asking for the top charge of predatory sexual assault against a child to be thrown out, arguing that prosecutors charged him with basically the same crime when they also tacked on the charge of sexual conduct against a child. Defense lawyer David Schwartz argued that the charges of felony predatory sexual assault of a child and felony course of sexual assault against a child don’t overlap, but are basically the same charge, just with different penalties.
Maraj’s attorney argued that prosecutors don’t have the right to charge Maraj with what appear to be identical charges. They either have to charge him with one or the other, and to move forward with both charges is an “abuse of discretion,” according to court papers obtained by BOSSIP. Schwartz said prosecutor’s move to charge Maraj with the similar crimes violated his constitutional rights.
Schwartz also filed a separate motion to have the case thrown out because he contends that Maraj’s right to a speedy trial had been violated because it’s been almost two years since Maraj was charged and he still hasn’t gone to trial.
Maraj wants his entire indictment thrown out, or at least the top charge of predatory sexual assault against a child.
A judge will rule on the motion next week, and Maraj is scheduled to head to trial next month.
Cops arrested Maraj, 39, in late 2015 for allegedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl for a period of eight months, with the last alleged assault occurring the day before his arrest. Nicki Minaj reportedly bailed him out and has been financing his legal team.
A Grand Jury indicted him last year, and since then, the case has been moving towards a trial. Maraj has already rejected a plea deal of 10 t 15 years after prosecutors found Maraj’s DNA in the alleged victim’s pants. Maraj has maintained his innocence, and insisted the tween was having sex with other men – but not him.
If convicted, Maraj could get life in state prison.
We’ve reached out to the Nassau District Attorney’s Office for comment.