Rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj may get another shot at a re-trial after his rape conviction because an alternate juror is making claims of misconduct by other jurors in the original trial, Page Six reports.
Maraj was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child in Nassau County. As if that wasn’t awful enough, that child was also his 11-year-old stepdaughter. The judge, Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Robert McDonald, has called in the jurors in the case to interview them. If a retrial is granted, it would mean that the victim would be subjected to testifying once again and facing Maraj.
An alternate juror suddenly now claims that other jurors “expressed their belief that Jelani Maraj was guilty early on in the trial.”
He also alleged that jurors had their minds made up about Maraj’s innocence and a juror stated “they can’t wait for him to be found guilty,” the alternate juror said to the judge.
Also, because Nicki Minaj decided not to testify on her brother’s behalf, the alternate juror claims the other jurors saw that as an admission of her brother’s guilt.
Although it is routine that jurors are ordered not to discuss the case, the alternate jurors said they did so anyway.
Maraj was accused of raping his then 11-year-old stepdaughter while she was living in the same house as him. In harrowing testimony, the young girl recalled how the abuse began on April 2015, when she was only 11-years old.
“It was a Saturday morning,” she said. “I had went to him to go say ‘good morning.’ I had hugged him as usual. I went to go lie next to him as I usually do. When I did that, he told me to go close the door. He told me to take off my pants. Then he told me to come under the covers with him and he started caressing me.” The girl then said that Maraj had sex with her, and that the sexual abuse continued, with Maraj frequently raping her after school.
“We would have sex in his bedroom, in my bedroom, in the basement,” she said.
Her younger brother testified that he had seen Maraj assaulting his sister when he was just 8-years old, and the girl herself testified that Maraj had threatened to take her and her brother away from their mother.
Although Maraj’s legal team had suggested that Nicki Minaj would testify to support her brother, she never did.