The 14-year-old alleged rape victim of star rapper Nicki Minaj’s brother returned to the witness stand in a Mineola court for a second day Tuesday, testifying that her account of abuse by her ex-stepfather had nothing to do with money.
The defense team for Jelani Maraj, 38, of Baldwin, has claimed the girl’s mother invented the tale of repeated sex assaults in an attempted $25 million shakedown of his rich and famous musician sister.
Prosecutors say the girl was 11 when Maraj made her his “indentured sexual object,” abusing her in their Baldwin home during eight months in 2015. Maraj faces up to life in prison if Nassau County jurors find him guilty of predatory sexual assault on a child – the top count against him.
The teenage witness appeared to lose her patience Tuesday with the defendant’s attorney near the end of her two and a half-hour long cross-examination as he suggested her account of repeated sexual abuse was fictional.
“This is a complete lie, isn’t it?” lawyer David Schwartz asked her.
“What is?” the witness answered.
“Your whole story,” he replied.
“No, it’s not,” she snapped back.
Newsday isn’t publishing the witness’ name to protect her identity as an alleged sexual abuse victim.
The girl denied her testimony about the alleged abuse was motivated by money or beatings from her mother – which the defense has alleged the woman used to coerce the victim into going along with a shakedown.
The witness also denied plotting with her mother on the day before Maraj’s December 2015 arrest to prepare evidence to hand over to the police.
A scientist previously testified a stain that could contain semen that was found on the girl’s pajama pants was a 1 in 291 billion match to Maraj’s DNA profile.
The defense has told jurors the clothing could have become cross-contaminated with other laundry, or the girl’s mother may have purposely rubbed Maraj’s underwear on them as part of the alleged attempt to extort his sister.
The witness said Tuesday she was sleeping in her brother’s room after speaking to police and undergoing a sexual assault exam when a female detective woke her up and asked her to get an item out of her room.
She said she went to her bedroom closet and retrieved the pajama pants, and that her and her mother and brother weren’t allowed into certain areas of the home as police executed a search warrant following Maraj’s arrest.
“I gave her what she asked for and I left,” the girl said of the pajama pants.
The trial continues Wednesday.