Prosecution Rests Wednesday In Jelani Maraj Rape Trial
The alleged victim in Nicki Minaj’s brother’s child rape trial may not have spoken out about the alleged abuse because she actually cared for her alleged abuser, an expert testified Wednesday.
Dr. Ann Meltzer, a child psychologist who works with child abuse survivors, said that it’s common for abused children to display behavior akin to Stockholm Syndrome toward their abuser.
“The vast majority of children do not come forward right away about what’s happening to them,” Dr. Meltzer said on the witness stand in Nassau County Supreme Court. “Sometimes the abuser is someone they like…and they don’t want to get someone in trouble, or send someone to jail.”
The expert, who has not treated the alleged victim, said there were common elements involving child sex abuse: children are almost always targeted by someone they know and respect, the abuse often occurs more than once and the child may willingly remain in an environment where the abuser can target them.
“The closer the relationship between the abuser and the child, the less likely they will come forward with it,” she said. “If it’s a parent or a stepparent, they want to see them in the best light and remember the good times. If they are threatened in some way and are around that person, they are reminded of the threat.”
Maraj’s alleged victim testified earlier this week that her former-stepdad raped her up to four times a week over an eight-month period in 2015. Maraj said the rape allegations are part of the accuser’s family’s $25 million blackmail attempt on him and Nicki.
If convicted, Maraj faces life in state prison.
In cross-examination, Maraj’s lawyer David Schwartz asked Dr. Meltzer whether children make up stories about being sexually abused.
“There are false allegations of abuse,” she said. “We come across that from younger children. But that comes from the parents, or children with psychiatric issues or older adolescents.”
The expert was the prosecution’s last witness, and now the defense will begin making Maraj’s case.