jelani miraj & nicki minaj

*We’re not legal eagles, so we’re not sure it’s the wisest move he could’ve made, but Nicki Minaj‘s brother, Jelani Maraj, has turned thumbs down to a plea deal and will take his chances with a judge and jury.

Maraj has rebuffed the Nassau County’s District Attorney’s plea deal of 15 years to life for predatory assault of a child, and will go to trial.

He made the decision in spite of the fact that the state found evidence of his semen on his accuser’s clothes. And of course a trial means that his alleged victim, who was 12-years-old at the time, may have to face Maraj in court and testify about what happened, according to Bossip.

Prosecutors allege that Maraj repeatedly raped and sodomized his tween victim over a period of eight months in 2015, with the last rape occurring the day before his arrest in December 2015. He has pled not guilty, and Nicki Minaj put up two homes as collateral in order to keep her oldest brother out on bail.

Maraj has argued that the girl was indeed having sex, but with other men – not him.

Maraj’s new lawyer, David Schwartz, told BOSSIP that Maraj is innocent and that the truth would prevail.

“He is choosing to go to trial because he is not guilty of these allegations and has faith in our system of justice,” Schwartz told us via email.

OK, if dude’s not guilty, how will his defense team explain his semen on the girl’s clothing. In any event, pre-trial hearings will begin in less than two weeks. If convicted, he faces life in state prison.

Maraj’s sister, rap superstar Nicki Minaj, has been there for him (big time) in the past by paying for his $30,000 wedding and is also putting up the cash for his defense which you can best believe will be a lot more that $30k.