Cutting edge DNA test needed in rape case involving identical twin

The rape suspect, court papers said, was identified by a longtime friend who said they committed the crime together. The suspect’s DNA was tied to the crime. But prosecutors hoping to present an airtight case had a concern: The suspect, Dwayne McNair, has an identical twin, meaning the DNA testing pointed not to one person, but two.

It was a twist worthy of a crime novel, but one that has cropped up from time to time in cases both in the United States and Europe, including an earlier one in Boston. Because monozygotic twins, the scientific name for identical twins, come from a single fertilized egg — the same genetic material — they cannot be distinguished by conventional DNA testing, confounding prosecutors who might otherwise be able to build a solid case.

Prosecutors here are hoping that McNair’s case will be a breakthrough for criminal cases involving identical twins. On Monday, McNair pleaded not guilty to eight counts of aggravated rape and two counts of armed robbery in two separate attacks he is accused of committing in 2004.

To make their case in court, prosecutors want to present evidence from a cutting-edge DNA test, performed by a European company, that they say shows that McNair, and not his twin brother, Dwight, committed the attacks.


“We’ll be the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to bring this evidence forward, if it is acceptable,” said Daniel F. Conley, the Suffolk County district attorney, after McNair was taken into custody on Monday.

Read the full, original story: New DNA test sought in identical twin’s rape case 

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend