The fate of Nicki Minaj’s brother has been placed in the hands of New York jurors as they deliberate over charges alleging he raped his stepdaughter.
Jelani Maraj is facing a maximum of life behind bars if he is convicted on a felony second-degree charge of sexual conduct, while he is also fighting a misdemeanour count of acting in a manner likely to injure a child.
He has denied allegations suggesting he repeatedly abused his then-pre-teen stepdaughter in the months leading up to his December, 2015 arrest.
His trial kicked off at Nassau County Supreme Court in Long Island on 19 October (17), when his attorney David Schwartz accused the child’s mother, Jelani’s estranged wife Jacqueline Robinson, of setting him up as part of a $25 million (£19 million) extortion plot, just four months after they wed.
Robinson, who filed for divorce last year (16), denied the allegations during her testimony, while the court also heard evidence from the alleged victim and her younger brother, who claimed he walked in on Maraj assaulting the girl, who did not take the witness stand.
Maraj’s famous sister Nicki was not in court for the trial and she was not called as a witness to corroborate the blackmail plot, as had previously been suggested.
The No Frauds hitmaker has never commented on the case publicly, but she did help to secure her brother’s freedom following his arrest by putting up two of her homes for collateral as she covered his $100,000 (£75,400) bail.
The case was handed to the jury, made up of eight men and four women, on Wednesday (08Nov17).