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Nicki Minaj's mother goes public as she fights to keep her son out of jail

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Nicki Minaj's mother has gone public with her efforts to overturn her son Jelani's child rape conviction.

The rap star's brother was found guilty of predatory sexual assault of his 11-year-old stepdaughter last year (17) and he is currently facing 25 years to life in prison, but his mum and lawyer David Schwartz are determined to clear his name.

During an appearance on The Hip Hop Hood Report, Carol Maraj tells veteran host Charles Fisher her son didn't get a fair trial because jurors ignored the evidence and decided he was guilty before the defence team had presented its case.

Nicki's mum claims prosecutors used "inconclusive DNA evidence", and now has proof from an alternate juror that others on the panel had made up their minds about Jelani based on media reports they should not have had access to during the trial.

"People (jury members) were just talking," she says. "They totally ignored the evidence and they went by their own mind and their own feelings and they already had him guilty way before the trial ended."

Carol and her son's lawyer are now trying to have the conviction overturned on the basis of jury misconduct, and she tells Fisher she still can't understand why the panel wasn't locked away during the trial.

"For a high-profile case such as this... (I can't understand) why Nassau County (officials in New York) didn't put these jurors away, sequestered somewhere, so that a child's father, a mother's son will get a fair trial... That was not done."

Maraj also claims the case was a "witch hunt", and insists that jurors were negatively influenced by her daughter's celebrity and notable absence from the trial.

The alternate juror, who has now signed an affidavit for Minaj's mother and the defence team, insists Jelani should be a free man today because there was no real evidence against him.

Earlier this year (18), Minaj's brother asked a judge to dismiss the guilty verdict in his child rape case after he was found guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child last November (17).

During the trial, his defence lawyers claimed Jelani's estranged wife, Jacqueline Robinson - the mother of the girl at the centre of the drama - set him up as part of a $25 million (£19.7 million) extortion plot just four months after they tied the knot in a lavish wedding, which Anaconda hitmaker Nicki paid for.

Robinson, who filed for divorce in 2016, denied the allegations during her testimony, while the court also heard evidence from the victim and her younger brother, who claimed he walked in on Maraj assaulting his sister.

Nicki has never commented on the case publicly, but she previously helped to secure her brother's freedom following his arrest by putting up two of her homes for collateral as she covered his $100,000 (£78,000) bail.

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