*Jury selection is slated to begin today (Oct. 11) in the child rape trial of Jelani Maraj, the 38-year-old older brother of rapper Nicki Minaj.
Minaj had previously put up the $100,000 bond that freed her brother from custody in Nassau County in 2015, and Maraj has the full support of his superstar sister. Jelani’s attorney, David Schwartz, said that Minaj is standing by her brother’s side “absolutely, 100 percent,” Newsday reported Tuesday.
Maraj, from the Baldwin area of Long Island, was arrested in December 2015 after he was accused of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual conduct against a 12-year-old. He has pleaded not guilty in the case and faces up to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald dropped a less serious felony charge against Maraj at the request of the prosecution on Tuesday in Nassau County Court, Newsday reported.
During the Tuesday pretrial court hearing, prosecutors revealed that pajama pants with Maraj’s alleged DNA on them in the groin area will be presented as evidence in the case, the newspaper reported.
Schwartz said that Minaj will not appear in court Wednesday, but may attend part of the trial, according to the news outlet.