An Oklahoma teen admits he molested and raped orphans during a mission trip to Kenya, but claims a demon named Luke made him do it.
19-year-old Matthew Durham is facing life behind bars after raping and sexually abusing up to 10 orphaned children while he was volunteering as a missionary in Kenya’s Upendo Children’s Home near Nairobi between April and June of this year.
In oral and written statements, Durham allegedly confessed that he spanked, caressed, and engaged in sex acts with young girls and boys at the orphanage. He also wrote that he would force the children to watch while he touched himself.
Prosecutors report that Durham had sex with as many as 10 children between the ages of four and 10, at least one of whom was HIV positive, during his three month missionary trip that started in April.
In text messages, Durham claimed that a demon named Luke was coming to him at night. ‘Every night luke gets what luke wants,’ the young man texted to unnamed friends.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Durham with engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children.
According to court records, the indictment alleges three counts:
- Count 1 alleges Durham traveled from Oklahoma City to Kenya for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with persons under 18 years of age.
- Count 2 alleges that Durham engaged in illicit sexual conduct with several minors under 18 years of age.
- Count 3 alleges aggravated sexual abuse when Durham crossed a state line with intent to engage in a sexual act with a child under 12 years of age.
Durham’s attorney claims the teen’s confession was coerced by orphanage officials in Kenya who kept him in isolation and confiscated his passport.
U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats filed a request seeking a mental evaluation. The request for the mental exam says prosecutors need to know whether Durham was insane at the time of the alleged offenses and if he can stand trial, which is set for next month but may be delayed.
Durham, who has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail in Oklahoma, faces up to life in prison if convicted.