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Nassau County PD /Splash News

Trial Begins In Jelani Maraj’s Child Rape Case

Nicki Minaj’s brother said the alleged victim in his child rape case and her family tried to shake him and his famous sibling down over the case, a court heard.

David Schwartz, lawyer for Jelani Maraj, told jurors in his opening statements Thursday that Maraj’s alleged victim, her mother and brother were “obsessed” with Nicki Minaj and the mother concocted a scheme to go public with the child rape allegations unless Nicki paid them $25 million.

The victim’s mother “contacted Nicki Minaj in order to shake Nicki Minaj down for millions of dollars,” Maraj’s lawyer David Schwartz told the jury. The victim’s mother told Nicki that she “could make the charges go away if she was paid 25 million,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said the victim’s mother, who had been married to Maraj for four months when the allegations broke, targeted Maraj for years in order to “execute her master plan” of using her daughter to plant false rape claims in order to extort the “Monster” rapper and her brother.

“It doesn’t get any lower to use your child to take money from another person and brainwash your child to lie,” Schwartz said.

Maraj’s lawyer said the alleged victim went along with the extortion plot because she was afraid of being beaten up by her mother and was excited about possibly getting millions. BOSSIP is not identifying the mother or the alleged victim in this case.

“Why would they make up the story?,” Schwartz told the jury. “Why would they make up a lie? How about I give you 25 million reasons why. Ladies and gentlemen, there are 25 million reasons why this child was brainwashed to lie. There are 25 million reasons why (the alleged victim) went along with it.”

Schwartz characterized the alleged victim’s mother as an abusive alcoholic who cleaned out their joint bank account the day after Maraj was arrested. The lawyer also claimed the mother appeared to have tampered with a pair of the girl’s pants where prosecutors later found evidence of Maraj’s DNA.

The case “ is fabricated and orchestrated by an evil mother who sought to do harm against the entire Maraj family, especially Nicki and especially Jelani” Schwartz said.

But prosecutors countered that Maraj began to rape the alleged victim when his relationship with the child’s mother became marred by excessive drinking and arguments. The abuse started out as kissing, then quickly moved to groping oral sex vaginal and even anal intercourse, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Emma Slane told the jurors, saying Maraj used the girl as his “submissive sex toy.”

“He would take her into his room, he would bend her over and he would shove his penis in her vagina,” Slane said, adding that the girl would later testify.

And since unemployed Maraj was home with the children while the mom worked, he had unfettered access to the alleged victim.

Slane said the alleged victim and her eight-year-old brother looked to Maraj as a father figure. But that all changed when she said the brother walked in on Maraj having sex with the alleged victim. Afterwords, she said Maraj slapped and threatened him into not telling anyone.

She said the only reason why the case came out was that the victim’s brother told Child Protective Services, and then the alleged victim corroborated the story in front of cops and the mother.

Cops arrested Maraj in December 2015 after his alleged victim said he’d been routinely raping her over the past eight months. He has pled not guilty and has previously argued in court papers that the tween girl was having sex with other men and not him.

His trial is scheduled to continue this afternoon and expected to last three weeks.