A 19-year-old missionary from Oklahoma sexually abused up to ten African orphans – some as young as four years old – while volunteering at the shelter where they lived in Nairobi, Kenya, according to federal charges filed against him.
Matthew Lane Durham was arrested last Thursday at his parents’ home in Edmond, Oklahoma, after he fled Kenya when he was confronted with the sex abuse allegations.
The founder of Upendo Children’s Home, Eunice Menja, told the FBI that Durham admitted to assaulting between four and ten children, aged four to ten – including one who is HIV-positive – while volunteering at the orphanage between April and June of this year.
He allegedly wrote out a sickening confession for Mrs Menja in which he detailed horrific acts of sexual abuse against both boys and girls. According to court documents, he admitted in the written confession that he raped at least three children and forced others to watch the sex abuse.
Matthew Lane Durham, 19, faces federal sex abuse charges after he allegedly admitted to abusing as many as ten children at a Kenyan orphanage where he was volunteering.
He also molested several other children and forced others to perform sex acts on him, according to court documents.
In the alleged confession, he detailed forcing one young girl to have sex with him several times. ‘Any time I try to read the Bible or pray, this image comes to my head,’ he allegedly wrote.
Durham’s lawyer Stephen Jones, who has previously defended the likes of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, says Mrs Menja forced a false confession from the Durham with ‘pseudo-tribal psychological voodoo’ and accused her of running a cult out of her orphanage.
He told the Oklahoman newspaper that the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney was ‘shot through with inaccuracies.’
‘The events that occurred in Kenya the last maybe five six days that Matt was there frankly reveal some sort of pseudo-tribal psychological voodoo practiced on him, including confiscating his passport, false imprisonment, keeping food from him one day, delay in allowing him to depart from the country, misleading his parents,’ Mr Jones told the newspaper.
‘I don’t think Hollywood could make up what happened at this so-called orphanage. We’re on the ground in Kenya now. We’re finding out a lot about these people. This place is right on the outskirts of Nairobi. It’s like some cult over there.’
This was Durham’s third mission trip to the orphanage in recent years and Mrs Menja had previously praised his compassion and eagerness to work with the troubled children at the shelter, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal district court in Oklahoma City.
Durham helped raise money for the orphanage in his Oklahoma hometown, including giving a presentation at the Edmonton Rotary Club.
Mrs Menja and her husband – both Kenyan immigrants who live in Oklahoma – founded Upendo Kids International, a Christian charity, that looks after troubled, unwanted and neglected children in a community on the outskirts of Nairobi. Every year, young Christian missionaries from the United States travel to the orphanage to work with the children.
Mrs Menja did not return a phone call and an email from MailOnline seeking comment.
On Durham’s most recent trip, he asked to sleep in an ‘overflow bunk’ at the orphanage, instead of staying with a sponsor family offsite.
A Kenyan caretaker who lives at the orphanage began to notice that some of the orphans were acting strangely. When she began to question them, they revealed that Durham had been abusing them, court documents allege.
Durham is charged with traveling with Intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in Illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place, attempt and conspiracy and aggravated sexual abuse with children.
Local authorities in Kenya are also investigating the case and could file charges against Durham, as well.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk