Twin Brother Defendants Complicate Asssault Case

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A case of identical twin brothers charged with assault may pose problems in court, the Miami Herald says. The two 17-year-olds were arrested this week near Miami and charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl, The Herald says the case that could raise “dizzying questions about who did what and when — all critical to establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Prosecutors say the boys’ resemblance will not matter because they made self-incriminating statements on tape. The Herald says that cases involving identical twins have vexed prosecutors around the nation, with one twin sometimes trying to shift blame to the other, or using the other twin’s existence to cast doubt.

Friends say the defendants are mirror images of each other. Even their priest can’t tell them apart.

Legal observers say they know of no other local high-profile criminal case in recent memory involving identical twin defendants. But they see the possibilities for a creative defense attorney.

“This is going to be a challenging case,” said Ralph Hagans, the twins’ attorney. “It’s going to be interesting to see how the victim identifies them when they’re sitting next to each other: `It was that one.’ ”


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