Oklahoma man charged in sexual abuse of Kenyan children
EDMOND, Okla. —An Edmond man is facing multiple charges after prosecutors said he traveled to Kenya to engage in illicit sexual conduct with underage children.
According to court records, Matthew Lane Durham, 19, was a volunteer at the Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya, which was founded by an American citizen who is also a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma.
Upendo specializes in assisting neglected Kenyan children by providing them with food, housing, clothes, school and religion, according to Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
It is alleged that Durham volunteered with Upendo in June 2012, June 2013, December 2013, and from April 30 to June 17, 2014.
Pictures of Durham at the home are featured on the Edmond Summit Rotary Club’s website.
In September, the club invited Durham to speak about his experiences in Kenya. They also helped him raise money for a return trip.
Authorities claim that on the latest trip to Kenya, Durham stayed at the children’s home in an overflow bunk rather than at an offsite facility with a sponsor family where he stayed on prior visits.
Coats told KOCO-TV Durham specifically asked to be housed with the children.
The complaint alleges that during the period from April to June 2014, Durham engaged in sexual acts with multiple children, male and female, ranging in ages from 4 to 10.
According to court documents, several children stated he touched them in a sexual manner.
According to investigators, after the children came forward, Durham confessed to the founder of the children’s home.
Investigators said Durham admitted to performing sexual acts on several of the children and having sexual intercourse with them. They said at least one of the victims is said to be HIV positive.
Durham was arrested on July 17 at his parents’ home in Edmond by federal agents. He appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge in Oklahoma City on Friday afternoon. He is being held without bond in a federal detention facility and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1, according to officials.
If convicted, Durham faces up to life in prison. He could also face charges in Kenya.