Bad Missionary accused of sexual exploits on Kenyan children
A 19-year-old Oklahoma missionary has been charged with traveling to Kenya to engage in sex acts with disadvantaged children as young as 4 years old.
Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, faces life behind bars after allegedly admitting to the sickening abuse while volunteering at Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi this spring.
It was during Durham’s fourth visit to the home between April and June that he sexually abused both boys and girls between ages 4 and 10. One of the kids is HIV positive, according to a FBI criminal complaint unsealed Friday.
The teen was confronted by the home’s founder after a caretaker grew suspicious of Durham’s behavior around the children, the Edmond Sun reported.
When the children were pulled aside, they allegedly described him as inappropriately touching them.
Durham reportedly first denied the allegations before admitting to struggling with homosexuality, child pornography and having sexual intercourse with some of the children.
That alleged confession, his attorney argues, was following confiscation of his passport and isolation by locals who carried out their own investigation, rather than immediately contacting police.
It was “what I can only describe as a bizarre combination of tribalism, religious zealotry, amateur psychology and armchair detective work,” attorney Stephen Jones told the Daily News.
Jones said Durham was pressured to confess to the allegations. When he denied them, he was allegedly told: “You probably don’t remember. Probably the devil made you do it.”
Approximately 30 days after arriving, he was arrested at his home on July 17.
“I think that the whole incident is outrageous,” said Jones who declined to provide a possible motive for the alleged false allegations.
Durham volunteered at the home in June 2012, June 2013 and December, but stayed at an offsite facility with a sponsor family, court records show.
It was allegedly during his most recent visit that he asked to stay at the children’s home in an “overflow bunk,” allowing him continuous access to the children.
He is being held without bond in Oklahoma City with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 1.