The verdict is in and a jury has convicted Jelani Maraj of repeatedly raping his 11 year old stepdaughter in their Long Island home.
The trial of Maraj lasted three weeks and included testimony from the victim now 15, and her brother who is now 10. The brother testified that he accidentally stumbled upon Maraj as he was sexually assaulting the girl. The jury deliberated for two days and Maraj showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He was convicted of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child. He faces 15 years to life in prison.
In his defense, his attorney argued that the semen that was found on the victim’s pajama bottoms that had a one-in-291 billion match to Maraj, was planted by his ex-wife in an attempt to extort Nicki. The jury did not buy his defense. One juror said after delivering the verdict that, “What (the victim) went through all that time, thinking that if it was a lie, how could she keep it up that long at that age?”
Maraj’s bail was immediately revoked after the verdict and he will held in a Nassau County Jail until sentencing.