The child rape trial against Jelani Maraj continued Monday (Oct. 23) when his stepson gave a chilling testimony about the moment he walked in on the alleged rape of his sister.
Page Six reports the 10-year-old recalled the 2015 incident to the jury. The child, who was 8 at the time, says he was looking for his then 11-year-old sister after his pencil broke. He walked into a basement bedroom where he saw Maraj’s underwear to his knees and his sister’s “around her ankles.” “I thought it wasn’t right. It looked weird to me, so I ran upstairs,” he said of the alleged rape.
The child says he was scared to say anything after he was beaten by Maraj. “He asked me if I had seen anything. I said, ‘Yes,’ ” the boy said. “Jelani said I wouldn’t see her again if I told on him. His face was kind of mad.”
He also told the jury that since his bedroom was next to his sister’s, he would hear the door open late at night and the bed creaking. Prosecutors have claimed Maraj was raping the now 15-year-old up to four times a week for eight months.
Last week, a doctor testified that the girl’s pajama’s had Maraj’s DNA on them. A medical exam also concluded that the child had been penetrated.
Defense lawyer David Schwartz claims Maraj’s estranged wife Jacqueline Robinson has brainwashed her children into making false accusations about the incident. He also claims the child’s medical exam could mean she was sexually active with another person her age.
He added that Robinson tried to extort $25 million from Maraj’s superstar sister Nicki Minaj to make “it go away.” Minaj posted her brother’s $100,000 at the time of his arrest in Dec. 2015. Just months earlier, the rapper paid for Maraj’s wedding to Robinson.
“I love my brother so much man,” she said in a sentimental Instagram post at the time of the wedding. “Can’t believe I cried during his wedding and his first dance like a punk. May God bless him and his union. Tonight has been one of my favorite nights of all time. I do anything to see my brothers smile.”
The rapper is expected to take the stand on her brother’s behalf after the defense rests. If convicted on charges of predatory sexual assault against a child, sexual conduct against a child, felony sexual conduct against a child under 13 years old and endangering the welfare of a child, he could spend 15 years to life in prison.