Cutting-Edge DNA Test Distinguishes Between Identical Twins, Links One to Rapes

BOSTON, Sept. 15, 2014—A Dedham man is being held on high bail after he was indicted using cutting-edge DNA testing that allegedly implicates him and excludes his twin brother as a suspect in a pair of abductions and sexual assaults in 2004, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.

DWAYNE McNAIR (D.O.B. 1/30/81) was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court on eight counts of aggravated rape and two counts of armed robbery for two separate attacks on women in September 2004.  Assistant District Attorney David Deakin, chief of the DA’s Sexual Assault and Family Protection Bureau, requested bail of $1 million; Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson imposed $500,000 bail and orders that he wear a GPS tracking device if he posts that amount.

McNair was initially indicted in the attacks in 2012 and was scheduled for trial earlier this year, but prosecutors temporarily withdrew their case earlier in April in order to pursue newly available DNA testing to differentiate between McNair and his identical twin brother, with whom he shares virtually a single genetic profile. The process, known as second-generation genome mapping, was only announced late last year.

“The forensic application of this testing is new, and to the best of our knowledge our case will be the first prosecution to use it,” Conley said. “The scientific foundation, on the other hand, is well-understood and widely-accepted. We look forward to the chance to demonstrate as much for the court.”

According to prosecutors, McNair and a second man, ANWAR THOMAS (D.O.B. 5/9/82), on Sept. 21, 2004, abducted a woman who was walking alone in the Forest Hills area at gunpoint, pistol-whipped her, and drove her to a remote location where the men sexually assaulted and robbed her.

Nine days later, on Sept. 29, the men again abducted a woman walking alone at night, this time from the area of Parker and Hillside streets in Roxbury.  The victim was forced into a vehicle, struck several times in the face with a gun, and sexually assaulted.  Her cell phone, wallet, and her ID were also stolen during the attack.

The victim in this latter attack had the presence of mind to take a condom that one of the men had used and discarded.  Boston Police were able to retrieve DNA from the condom and other items.  The DNA profile from the evidence implicated McNair – and, because he is an identical twin, also matched his brother’s DNA profile.  DNA testing available at the time could not differentiate between the two, but police and prosecutors had secured additional evidence and testimony showing that Dwayne McNair was the one who took part in the violent attacks.

The case was scheduled to go to trial on April 29 of this year. Shortly before the trial date, however, prosecutors learned of the newly available science.  Prosecutors requested a continuance in order to avail themselves of this new evidence, but the court denied the request.  As a result, prosecutors temporarily withdrew their case in order to undertake the testing, which was paid for by the Suffolk DA’s office and the Boston Police Department.

Prosecutors received the test results on Sept. 5, showing that Dwayne McNair was 2 billion times more likely to have been the source of the DNA evidence than his brother.  The Grand Jury returned the new indictments that same day.

Thomas ultimately pleaded guilty to both assaults and is currently serving a lengthy state prison sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Mindy Klenoff of the DA’s Appellate Division is assisting in the prosecution.  McNair is represented by attorney Robert Tobin.  He will return to court Oct. 29.







All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.