Jelani Maraj’s statutory rape trial picked up speed during its second day of deliberations on Friday, October 20, as the prosecution introduced the testimony of a child sex abuse expert who went on record to confirm that a physical evaluation revealed proof to him that the alleged victim had been vaginally penetrated.
“I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that the girl’s medical exam can prove penetration,” witness Dr. Aaron Miller told the court. The development comes one day after the trial opened up with both sides presenting their arguments to jurors ruling over the two-year-old case. Prosecutors characterized Maraj as a predator who treated his 11-year-old stepdaughter like an “indentured sex object,” while the defense team hit back by accusing the child’s mother of masterminding a scheme through which she initially sought to have her daughter pin the accusations on Maraj for a $25 million payoff.
“There are 25 million reasons why this child was brainwashed to lie and make up these charges,” Maraj’s lawyer David Schwartz told the court.
Maraj, who is the older brother of Nicki Minaj, is accused of sexually assaulting the alleged victim as many as four times a week, over the course of an eight-month period in 2015. The prosecution is basing its case on several pieces of forensic evidence, including the recovery of a pair of the victim’s pajamas that was found to have a sample of Maraj’s semen on it. His defense argues that the semen could have been taken from him and planted on the pants by her mother.
Maraj is facing several first and second-degree sexual misconduct charges and could face 15 years to life in prison should he be convicted.