Jurors convicted rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother of sexually assaulting his former stepdaughter in a Baldwin home, after a monthlong trial in which the defense claimed the allegations were invented to try to extort $25 million from the man’s famous sister.
Jelani Maraj, 38, of Baldwin, now faces up to life in prison following his convictions in Nassau County Court on predatory sexual assault on a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
Court officers took Maraj, who had been free on bond and showed no emotion after the verdict, into custody after state Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald ordered him held without bail in Nassau County’s jail.
Prosecutors had told jurors Maraj began abusing the victim when she was 11, raping her repeatedly between April and November 2015 while her mother was at work.
Now 14, the victim testified Maraj would call her “his puppet” and tell her she had “no say” in what he did to her. She said Maraj slapped her if she refused his sexual advances, threatening that she would be taken away from her mother if she told anyone about the abuse.
The defense had claimed the girl’s mother had beaten her and her younger brother to get them to go along with a fabricated sex abuse tale the woman made up in an attempted $25 million shakedown of Maraj’s celebrity musician sister.
Maraj’s Garden City attorney, David Schwartz, also told jurors the girl’s mother contacted Nicki Minaj after Maraj’s arrest and relayed “if she was paid $25 million, these charges could just go away.”
The victim testified that her account had nothing to do with money and wasn’t motivated by beatings from her mother.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement after the verdict that “justice demanded” Maraj “be held accountable for these heinous acts,” and she hoped the verdict would help the victim and her family “close this terrible chapter in their lives.”
Juror Arthur Naclerio, 67, of Massapequa, said the victim’s testimony was the most convincing piece of evidence, and it was “not hard” for the jury to reach its verdict.
Schwartz said his client would file an appeal, adding: “The amount of evidence that we had that wasn’t allowed in this case is unbelievable.”
In her testimony, Maraj’s former wife rebuffed claims of an extortion plot and denied forcing her children to go along with a made-up tale of abuse, while admitting to beating her children at times and drinking alcohol excessively in 2015.
The girl’s brother, now 10, testified he saw Maraj’s “private parts” touching his sister after walking into a bedroom in 2015 and seeing them both partially unclothed. Prosecutor Emma Slane told jurors the brother “unlocked a massive ugly secret” when he later revealed what he had seen to a child protection worker after his sister sparked an investigation while speaking to a school counselor in November 2015.
A scientist who testified for the prosecution said a stain on a pair of the victim’s pajama pants was a 1 in 291 billion match to Maraj’s DNA profile.
Maraj’s mother, Carol Maraj, who declined to comment after the verdict, said in her testimony for the defense that her son’s then-wife made a comment she perceived as an extortion threat while driving her to court following her son’s Dec. 1, 2015, arrest, telling her: “It’s gonna take lots of money to get out of this one.”
A Manhattan civil attorney also testified under defense subpoena he demanded $25 million from Maraj’s prior law firm in March 2016 to resolve the civil side of the case after the girl’s mother hired him to seek damages. He added that the demand was rejected, and his firm never filed a lawsuit because they got fired.
Naclerio said the jury didn’t believe a shakedown happened.
Jelani Maraj, brother of rapper Nicki Minaj, guilty of child rape Bridget Murphy newsday.com November 9, 2017
73-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting three young boys at his home near Matteson, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office said.
Joseph Minarik, of the 600 block of Tanglewood Road, was ordered held without bond during a court hearing, the sheriff said in a news release.
Police said their investigation shows that Minarik had sexual contact with, and/or photographed, multiple boys at his home between 2012 and earlier this year.
The department's investigation started in July after family members of one of the victims found explicit photos of the boy on a camera belonging to Minarik, police said.
Detectives found child pornography, including explicit images of two victims, on devices that were obtained during the execution of a search warrant at Minarik's residence, according to the department.
Minarik was taken into custody by sheriff's detectives, and was charged with assaulting three boys, all of whom were younger than 13 at the time the incidents took place, police said.
His is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, two counts of manufacturing child pornography and two counts of possessing child porn, police said.
In order to protect the identity of the victims, the sheriff's department was not providing details about how Minarik and the boys knew one another, but the victims "were familiar with him," Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department, said.
South suburban man sexually assaulted young boys in his home, police say Mike Nolan Daily Southtown Nov 9 2017
VERNON – A Chillicothe man was sentenced to 144 years in prison, including 99 years without parole, for sexually assaulting a child younger than 6 years old.
A Hardeman County jury found Kyle Anderson, 37, guilty of one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child.
After just over an hour of deliberations, the jury sentenced Anderson to 99 years in prison on the sexual assault and 15 years each on the indecency counts.
46th District Judge Dan Mike Bird stacked the three shorter sentences on top of the 99-year term, meaning Anderson will have to serve the full 99 years before he begins to serve the 15-year sentences – effectively 144 years in prison.
Evidence at the trial showed that the three children made an outcry of sexual abuse on May 22 against Anderson, who was fostering the children along with his wife.
The children – ages 5, 5 and 3 – told Anderson’s wife that he was sexually abusing them while she was not at home. The wife then notified local police and took the children to their foster agency in Wichita Falls.
On May 23, Anderson’s wife made a phone call to Anderson that was recorded by the Texas Rangers. During the call, Anderson admitted to sex acts with all three children.
During the trial, three other girls that had been fostered by Anderson in 2014 also testified against him.
Each of the girls told the jury they were also sexually abused by Anderson when they were in his care. At that time, the girls were 10, 9 and 7 years old.
The owner of a semi-professional basketball team based in Loudoun County has been charged with multiple child sex crimes.
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office this week arrested Norman Lee Blowe Jr., 47, in Winchester for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl between May and October.
Blowe is the owner of the Virginia Storm, an American Basketball Association team that moved from Winchester to Loudoun in 2016. Blowe has owned the team since 2010.
According to NVDaily.com, which cites a criminal complaint, Blowe would meet the girl for sexual encounters. Blowe paid for the sex acts, anywhere from $100 to $200.
Blowe has been charged with producing child pornography, soliciting prostitution from a minor older than 16 and taking indecent liberties with a child. He's being held without bond at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.
The Virginia Storm also operate youth basketball programs and camps.
Dragon's Den paedophile has sentenced increased after appeal court rules four years is 'unduly lenient' Huw Wales Lucy Clarke-Billings 10 NOV 2017