Last week, a Nassau County judge denied the motion to dismiss the rape conviction of rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj.
Two years ago, Maraj was convicted of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl, as News 12 Long Island reports. Minaj’s brother’s attorneys claimed that juror misconduct transpired and they made a motion for a new trial.
Maraj’s conviction still stands because Judge Robert McDonald denied the motion. “It’s really unfair what happened here today,” Carol Maraj, the defendant’s mother said.
Judge McDonald said an alternate juror had accused other members of the jury of expressing that Maraj was guilty. Following the trial, jurors were summoned back to the hearing before McDonald and were asked if any outside influences played a role in their decision to convict Maraj.
“The sanctity of the jury trial is under siege right now because of social media and outside influences,” says Maraj’s attorney David Schwartz. “The jurors are only supposed to consider what is said in court.”
According to Maraj’s mother, Carol, there at least seven jury members who stated they read what bloggers were writing about Maraj daily.
Judge McDonald said that Maraj’s defense didn’t meet its burden of proof to offer a new trial. Maraj’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18.