Volunteer Teen Rapes Orphans during Mission Trip
By Athena Yenko | July 28, 2014 9:11 AM EST
A missionary volunteer is facing a life in prison as he was found guilty of raping orphans during his missionary trip in Africa.
A volunteer teenager from Edmond is found guilty of raping orphans at a Kenyan child care home during one of his missionary mission in Africa.
The teenager had volunteered to the orphanage but was found to be sexually abusing some of the young orphans.
The court records revealed that the 19-year-old teen, named Matthew Durnham, had confessed to his appalling deed. According to him, he had raped several young girls and coerced young boys to give him oral sex. He also admitted that he allowed the other kids to watch as he molests others.
"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," United States Attorney Sanford Coats said.
Durham is volunteering under the group called Upendo that takes care of abandoned Kenyan kids by feeding them, providing shelter, giving them clothes and teaching religion.
Durham had already been doing missionary works for two years and had volunteered three times in June 2012, June 2013, and in December. He stayed with sponsor families during his first two visits.
Doubts on Durnham occurred when he insisted to stay at the children's home where he will be sharing bed with lots of orphans instead of staying at the facility for the volunteers.
"A caretaker at the orphanage noticed something wasn't right and confronted Mr. Durham. He admitted to some of the acts," court documents revealed.
The children said that Durham "often touched them in a sexual manner or told them to touch themselves while he watched."
Durham's victims were both boys and girls between the ages of four and nine and at least one of them is positive with HIV.
Durham's attorney, Steven Jones, defended that the court affidavit detailing his crime was erroneously made.
"The affidavit is 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. I don't think Hollywood could make up what happened at this so-called orphanage," Jones said.
Durham is being held without bond.
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