DNA evidence can’t tell identical twins apart in rape case


Identical twins in the UK have both been charged with raping a teenage girl, even though forensic tests cannot prove which one carried out the attack.

British prosecutors have formally charged two men, Mohammed and Aftab Asghar, 22, with a single offence, but caution that “only one of the defendants faces trial.” Both men were arrested after traces of DNA were found at the crime scene.

Identical twins, because they were spawned from the same fertilized egg, share the same DNA.

Police investigated after a 17 year-old girl claimed she was sexually assaulted in a park near Reading, Berks, on Guy Fawkes Night 2011. The detectives, unable to distinguish the two men according to DNA evidence alone — but knowing it had to be one of them — decided to charge both.


  1. Don’t know what the equivalent laws are there, but if this happened here and both brothers held out….. I don’t think they would even be able to be tried.

  2. If the twins have lived apart for some time, there may be differences in methylation that could be detected. But that could be expensive and require a special lab. If nothing else, the prosecution could charge both with obstruction of justice.

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