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Custody Battle Over Twins with Different Fathers Seems Finished

January 31, 1996

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Twin girls fathered by different men apparently will stay with their mother after one of the fathers gave up his custody fight.

``Today was a good victory for the good,″ the girls’ mother, Brenda Taylor, 33, said Tuesday after a judge took the case under advisement.

Lawyers on both sides said Taylor will likely get custody of 17-month-old Lauren. She already has custody of Lauren’s twin sister, Megan.

Taylor’s ex-husband, Peter Tonnessen of Colorado Springs, Colo., will likely be granted one weekend a month of visitation with Lauren.

For twins to have different fathers, the mother would have to ovulate twice in one menstrual cycle and have intercourse with two men around the time of ovulation.

DNA tests show Tonnessen is Lauren’s father and Megan’s father is Dean Taylor, who is married to the twins’ mother. At the time the twins were conceived, Dean Taylor was living with her.

Tonnessen was estranged from Taylor at the time. She claimed he raped her hours after she had sex with Dean Taylor, but Tonnessen denied it and no police report was filed.

Tonnessen filed for custody of his unborn child in 1994, unaware his estranged wife was carrying twins. She moved to Arizona before giving birth.

When Tonnessen lost an appeal to have the case returned to Colorado, he said he would default in the custody trial. He did not show up for a deposition or settlement conference and was ruled in default by a judge who ordered Tuesday’s hearing.

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