IT WAS a mystery worthy of CSI: a series of rapes in France tracked back to identical twins with matching DNA, both of them jailed.
But the puzzle was finally solved this week as one of the twins, Yoan Gomis, confessed in court to the sexual assaults after some victims identified him because he was partially deaf and stuttered.
After a series of three rapes, three attempted rapes and a sexual assault in the southern city of Marseilles between September 2012 and February 2013, police discovered matching DNA in five of the cases.
It was traced back to Yoan and Elvin Gomis, 26, who lived together, shared clothes, a car, mobile phones and even had a joint Facebook account.
The brothers were so close that they both firmly denied any role in the assaults and were both jailed when investigators couldn’t tell them apart.
Yoan Gomis’ lawyer Bruno Rebstock, left, waits with Elvin, the twin brother of Yoan, outside court. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT Source: AFP
The case is one of the first of its kind in the world and throws the spotlight onto DNA evidence and its limits.
Ordinary DNA tests couldn’t tell the brothers apart.
Emmanuel Kiehl, an officer with the Bouches-du-Rhône department, toldThe Independent the investigation had been “very unusual”.
“There are ways of differentiating between the genetic imprints of identical twins but they are very laborious and can be conducted only by a couple of laboratories in France,” he said.
However, the breakthrough came when some of the victims mentioned a peculiarity about the way their attacker spoke, including a “stutter” that matched to Yoan’s partial deafness.
After 10 months of detention Elvin was released and the case against him dropped.
“I admit all the facts,” Yoan said in a court in the city of Aix-en-Provence, adding he was sorry for having lied for so long and that he did not understand why he had attacked the women, reported AFP.
“I am sorry for having lied all this time,” he told the court. “I was ashamed of myself. I just couldn’t admit it.”
Elvin Gomis was in court to hear his brothers’ confession,The Mirrorreported.
Vanessa Cerda, Yoan’s lawyer, said the twins’ relationship had not suffered even though Elvin spent 10 months in prison for his brother.
“They have never mentioned it. (Elvin) absolutely does not hold it against him. It is all part of the mystery of twins.”
The judge, Jean-Luc Tournier, asked Yoan Gomis why if he and his brother “were so close”
he had allowed him to be jailed.
Yoan replied: “I was scared of how my mother, and other people, would look at me. I was disgusted with myself. I just could not confess.”
Yoan Gomis will be sentenced on Friday.