Former Lodi hip-hop reality TV star faces sex-assault trial
Mandeecees Harris, a 34-year-old actor on the VH1 reality show “Love and Hip-Hop,” is charged with performing various sexual acts with a 15-year-old girl and inappropriately touching her at his former home in Lodi.
Bergen County prosecutors allege that Harris asked for and received oral sex from the girl and fondled her on various occasions between September 2009 and April 2010. He was arrested later that year and charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and child endangerment. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Harris remains free without bail. He was not present in state Superior Court in Hackensackduring jury selection Wednesday. Court officials expect to have a full panel of jurors by Thursday, and attorneys are scheduled to make opening remarks on Jan. 29.
“Love and Hip Hop” debuted in 2011, with the third season premiering this week. The show’s website on VH1 describes Harris as “a well-known name throughout New York City.”
“Through the years he has been concentrating on his real estate endeavors, but now is focused on building an empire in the music industry,” reads his biography.
Harris owns Beat Factory studio in The Bronx and manages several New York City-based rappers, according to the biography.