The Menendez brothers' cousin, Diane Molen, 57, told RadarOnline.com that the notorious murderers should go free — because she claims their dad abused them!
Erik and Lyle Menendez murdered their mother and father, Jose and Kitty, on August 20, 1989. They shot Jose five times and Kitty nine as they sat on their living room couch, with the final blasts into their kneecaps to make the scene look like a mob hit. Later, they claimed it was self-defense, because they'd been abused by their dad.
"I believe at the time they thought it was either them or their parents," their cousin, Molen, told RadarOnline.com exclusively.
She described their father as, "a god to them. When Jose was there they were continuously seeking his approval. He was a force that couldn't be reckoned with."
"If they were to go back on trial I would absolutely testify on their behalf about the abuse," Molen said.
During their highly publicized trials in 1993, both brothers defended their actions by claiming they had been molested for years. The first trials concluded with deadlocked juries.
Their second trials ended on March 20, 1996, when the brothers were found guilty of first-degree murder and both sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
However, in that second trial, judge Stanley Weisberg had barred evidence that Kitty and Jose abused their sons.
The boys' lawyer, Chris Pixley, claimed, "The judge in the second trial gutted the defense."
But a new legal loophole allowing sexual abuse as a murder defense could set the brothers free, or grant them a new trial, especially if witnesses corroborate their claims.
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Molen recently opened up about the allegations during an ABC interview about a summer she spent with the brothers when she was 17. Lyle, then 8, told her he was afraid to sleep in his own bed, "because his father and him had been touching each other down there, indicating his genital area," she claimed.
"He was scared to sleep in his own bed because he was afraid that his father was going to come in and molest him that night," Molen told ABC.
When asked if she believed there was abuse going on, Molen responded, "I know for 100 percent that there was."
"In hindsight, I wish that I would have been stronger about what Lyle was telling me so I could have done something to help them."
The brothers have spent over 20 years in separate prisons for the double homicide. Erik married Tammi Saccoman from behind bars at Folsom State Prison in 1999 after she noticed him on TV during his trial.
Lyle first married model Anna Eriksson in 1996 in a similar fashion, but the blonde divorced him after she caught him "cheating" by writing to other women. He married again in 2003, this time to Rebecca Sneed, who later became a defense attorney.
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