Posted on 23 July 2014.
Matthew Lane Durham – charges with sexual misconduct
A US court is handling a criminal case pertaining a 19-year-old man from Edmond who confessed to have engaged in illicit sexual conduct with underage children at a children’s home in Kenya where he had served a a volunteer.
As reported by Edmond Sun, Matthew Lane Durham, 19 engaged in the sexual conduct with the children, both male and female, between the ages 4-9 at Upendo Children’s Home, which is located in the Juja area in the outskirts of Nairobi. He volunteered with Upendo in June 2012, June 2013, December 2013 and from April 30 to June 17, 2014.
According to court records, one of the founders of Upendo Children’s Home, an Edmond couple of Kenyan origin, Monday morning, is reported to have confronted Durham on June 12, after a caretaker at the children home raised the matter.
Durham allegedly initially denied the allegations but later on admitted to be struggling with homosexuality and child pornography,
The live-in caretaker is reported to have observed some peculiar behavior by Durham with the children such as finding him late at night lying beside some of the children on their beds and providing lingering embraces with them
Durham is said to have admitted to performing sexual acts on several children to the founder of the children’s home on on June 17, including having sexual intercourse with them and at least one of whom is HIV positive.
“During the confession, the founder was recording him through her cell phone and has saved the video, court records state. When his description became unbearable for her to hear, she had Durham write what he had done with the children, court records state.
She provided the U.S. Embassy with copies of the page-long handwritten, signed statements by Durham, according to court records. Excerpts from six of them are listed in court records.” Wrote the Edmond Sun.
In one of the papers, after describing an illicit sex act with a victim, Durham stated: “Any time I try to read the Bible or pray, this image comes to my head.”
Durham was arrested in July 17, and he appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City late Friday afternoon. He is being held without bond and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1.
Federal law makes it a crime for any U.S. citizen to travel in foreign commerce and engage in any illicit sexual conduct with another person under the age of 18. If convicted, Durham faces up to life in prison. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Don Gifford II.
According to the Prosecutors, while the alleged sex crimes were committed in Kenya, Durham can be held accountable for the crimes in Oklahoma but then again, the crime was committed in Kenya and we definitely have an equally capable judiciary.
Under Kenya’s Sexual Offenses Act, “A person who commits an offense of defilement with a child aged eleven years or less shall upon conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for life.”
The constitution of Kenya is the supreme law of the country and it safe guards the rights of the innocent children which were grossly violated by the one person who was supposed to be protecting them.
Over to you Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.