Jury selection starts for rape trial of Nicki Minaj's brother

Jury selection is set to start for the rape trial of Nicki Minaj's brother, Jelani Maraj. The 38-year-old New York rapper is charged with the first-degree rape of a 12-year-old. He is also charged with first-degree sexual conduct. Maraj has pleaded not guilty. He could face life in prison if he is convicted of the highest charge.

Maraj's attorney said the charges are based on lies and that there is a motive behind those lies, but he did not get into the details. At the prosecution's request, a Supreme Court justice recently dropped a felony charge Maraj was also facing. A pretrial hearing revealed that Maraj's alleged DNA showed up in the groin area on pyjama pants which will be part of the evidence in the upcoming trial. Nicki Minaj, who is said to be supporting her brother, may attend part of the trial.

New York residents charged with rape should definitely have the counsel of an attorney with criminal law experience. There are many defenses that may apply to the charge and an attorney would be able to evaluate the prosecution's case to ascertain its strength. By doing so, a defense attorney will focus on preparing the strongest defense possible for his or her client.

Under the law, a client has the right to be represented by a competent attorney. A New York defense attorney could seek to negotiate a plea deal from the prosecutor, if one is available. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution to establish each and every element of the crime/s charged in court and beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that is intentionally difficult to meet in order protect innocent people from being convicted for crimes they did not commit. A lawyer can't always get an acquittal in a rape case, but he or she will work for the best outcome possible under the circumstances. 

Source: nypost.com, "Jury selection begins in Nicki Minaj's brother's rape trial", Natalie Musumeci View, Oct. 11, 2017

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