DA: New DNA test fingers twin in 2004 rapes

Cutting-edge DNA testing has allegedly implicated a Dedham man—and excluded his twin brother—as a suspect in a pair of abductions and sexual assaults in 2004 in Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said last week.

Based on the new evidence, Dwayne McNair, 33, was arraigned Sept. 15 in Suffolk Superior Court on eight counts of aggravated rape and two counts of armed robbery.

According to prosecutors, McNair and a second man, Anwar Thomas, 32, 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 on Sept. 21, 2004.

Nine days later, prosecutors say, the men again abducted a woman walking alone at night, this time from the area of Parker and Hillside streets in Mission Hill. The victim was forced into a vehicle, struck several times in the face with a gun, and sexually assaulted.

Thomas already was convicted of the crimes and is in state prison.

The victim in the Mission Hill 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. But, because he is an identical twin, it also matched his brother’s DNA profile. DNA testing available at the time could not differentiate between the two. While prosecutors say they had other evidence against McNair, and charged him in 2012, they temporarily withdrew their case earlier this year.

Investigators then applied newly available, more precise DNA testing, known as second-generation genome mapping, to the physical evidence. Prosecutors say the results show that McNair was 2 billion times more likely to have been the source of the DNA evidence than his brother.

However, it remains to be seen whether a judge and jury will be convinced.

“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.”

From press materials.

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