Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US teen denies sexual abuse charge at Nairobi children's home

09 August 2014, 11:09

Oklahoma City - A teen pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that he sexually abused children at an orphanage in Kenya.

Matthew Lane Durham, 19, was indicted on three felony counts by a federal grand jury on Tuesday that accused him of traveling from Oklahoma City to Kenya to sexually abuse children at the Upendo Children's Home. The orphanage outside Nairobi specializes in assisting neglected Kenyan children by providing them with food, housing, clothes and academic and religious instruction.

Durham was also indicted for illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and aggravated sexual abuse. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors allege that Durham, who has worked as a volunteer at the children's home since June 2012, engaged in sex acts with as many as 10 children ages 4 to 10 between April 30 and June 17.

An affidavit filed in federal court says Durham wrote and signed a statement acknowledging the sexual misconduct, which an Upendo official provided to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

But Jones has challenged the credibility of Durham's statements and claims they were coerced by orphanage officials in Kenya who kept him in isolation and confiscated his passport.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bob Troester, said the investigation is ongoing but that Durham is the only person who has been arrested in the case.

Durham spoke softly as he answered questions from U.S. Magistrate Gary Purcell, including whether he understood the nature of the charges. Purcell ordered that Durham remain in custody until his trial, which he set for Sept. 9.

One of his attorneys, Laura Puente, indicated the defense may request a later trial date because of the time required to travel to Africa to conduct interviews. Following the hearing, Durham's lead attorney, Stephen Jones, said he plans to send investigators to Kenya.

"We're continuing preparation for the defense," said Jones, who did not attend the arraignment.

Durham's family members, including his parents, left the courtroom without comment.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on 
Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...