Nicki Minaj “100 Percent” Supports Brother In Child Rape Case, Lawyer Says
Nicki Minaj’s brother got some good news in his child rape case.
A judge agreed to drop one of the sex abuse charges a remarkably thinner Jelani Maraj is facing as the man prepares to head to trial on the case early next week.
Judge Robert McDonald Tuesday approved the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office’s request to dismiss the lesser charge against Maraj, sexual conduct against a child. It’s not clear why the D.A. decided not to pursue the lesser charge.
But his top charge of predatory sex assault against a child will still stand, and if Maraj is convicted, he could get life in prison.
Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday, and the trial may start as early as next Monday, Schwartz said. Both sides estimated that the case would take about three weeks to try.
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 to 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.
The stress of the case may be getting to him as he appeared to have lost at least 50 pounds. Maraj, who appeared with his mother and another unidentified man, was visibly distressed after the hearing, putting his middle finger up to one reporter’s camera.
“Jelani is looking forward to the trial and he will be vindicated,” Schwartz said. “It’s going to be shown in court why they had a motive to lie. Once they (the jury) hear the evidence in this case, or the lack of evidence, he’s gonna be acquitted.”
If convicted, Maraj could get life in state prison.
Schwartz, Maraj’s lawyer, said Nicki Minaj “absolutely” supported Maraj, and the rapper herself may be in court to back her oldest sibling.
“She may,” Schwartz said. “We’ll see.”