Closing Arguments In Jelani Maraj Rape Case
A prosecutor in Nicki Minaj’s brother’s rape trial said there was no way that his alleged victim’s family was behind plot to extort the rapper and asked jurors to use “common sense” as they began deliberations in the case.
Jelani Maraj is on trial for allegedly raping his then 11-year-old stepdaughter up to four times a week over much of 2015. Jelani said he’s innocent and that he and his family were targeted by the alleged victim and her mother to extort Nicki Minaj for $25 million.
“Your common sense should truly be insulted to believe that family wove that web of lies,” Slane told the jury. “If it was truly about money, truly about getting rich fast, why did they target that man?…It’s not about the money. It’s about what he did to that little girl.”
Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Emma Slane said the defense’s extortion claims were beyond belief and asked the jurors how the alleged victim’s mother, Jacqueline Robinson, could have been able to mastermind the alleged blackmail plot after admitting to drinking heavily during that time.
“Jackie Robinson can’t be too drunk to function but at the same time be capable of concocting this plan,” Slane said. “You can’t do both.”
The prosecutor laid into the defense’s claim that Robinson masterminded the shakedown. Slane said she had gained nothing from the case and had to air her dirty laundry: admitting to boozing heavily when her relationship with Jelani became strained and hitting her kids with whatever she could find.
“Jackie Robinson basically admitted to you that she’s a horrible mother,” Slane told the jury, “but she’s not on trial.”
Slane also asked why the alleged tween victim would frame the man who she saw as her father and leave her relatively plush life in a five-bedroom sprawling home with step-siblings to now sleep on a couch in a one bedroom basement apartment.
The alleged victim’s family “had it pretty good,” Slane said, “but you throw away the good when it comes with a nightmare.”
Slane said that besides the testimony from the girl’s family, the case’s medical evidence, Jelani’s semen found the the crotch area of the accuser’s pajama pants and Jelani’s several hour refusal to open the door for police when they came to arrest him all point to his guilt.