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article imageOklahoma teen accused of raping children on mission trip

By Karen Graham     Jul 22, 2014 in Crime
Edmond - A 19-year old Edmond, Oklahoma teen is being held without bond, after allegedly confessing to a number of sex acts with children under his charge while working at a Kenyan orphanage where he was a volunteer with a mission group.
Matthew Durham, a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, could face life in prison after authorities said he allegedly committed some shocking criminal acts while on a mission trip to Kenya. Durham was a volunteer at a Kenyan children's home when he allegedly raped and sexually molested a number of children, aged four to nine years of age.
According to court records, Durham confessed to raping several young girls and forcing a number of young boys to perform oral sex on him, including making some of the children watch. United States Attorney Sanford Coats said, “This is a young man in our community that made choices to exploit children in an orphanage. It’s a true tragedy all the way around.”
The teen traveled overseas with a group called Upendo Kids International. Founded and run by Robert and Eunice Menja, Upendo is a non-profit organization and has been in operation for 10 years. The group supports over 70 children in the Upendo Children's Home for orphans and destitute children. They depend on volunteers for help in their mission work and support of the school in Kenya by providing food, housing, clothes and religion.
While Durham made several volunteer trips with the mission group over the last two years, it was during the last visit that the criminal complaint alleges that “Durham requested to stay at the children’s home in an ‘overflow bunk’ rather than at an off-site facility.” During that visit, several alleged victims said that Durham “often touched them in a sexual manner or told them to touch themselves while he watched.”
When Durham was confronted with the allegations, he is said to have come clean. “A caretaker at the orphanage noticed something wasn’t right and confronted Mr. Durham. He admitted to some of the acts,” said Coats.
Court papers also say: “The victims are believed to be both boys and girls between the ages of four and nine, at least one of whom is HIV positive.”
State prosecutors say that although the alleged crimes were committed overseas, Durham will still be held accountable in the state of Oklahoma for the crimes.
More about edmond oklahoma, Kenyan orphanage, Upendo, Missionary organization, Volunteer work
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