Judge denies motion to dismiss rape conviction against Nicki Minaj's brother
A Nassau County judge denied Tuesday the motion to toss the rape conviction of rap star Nicki Minaj's brother.
Jelani Maraj, of Baldwin, was convicted two years ago of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl. His attorneys made a motion for a new trial, claiming juror misconduct.
Judge Robert McDonald denied the motion Tuesday so the conviction stands.
"It's really unfair what happened here today," says Carol Maraj, the defendant's mother.
Judge McDonald says an alternate juror accused other jurors of expressing that Maraj was guilty. After the trial, members of the jury were summoned back to a hearing before McDonald and were questioned if any outside influences played a role in their decision to convict.
"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."
Maraj's mother says there were at least seven jurors who said they looked at what bloggers were saying every night.
Judge McDonald said in his decision Tuesday that the defense didn't meet it's burden of proof to have a new trial.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18.