The legal team representing Matthew Durham, the Edmond man accused of sexually abusing children at a Kenyan Orphanage, has filed a court motion requesting a new trial after they say new evidence has been brought to light.
The court papers were filed late Friday afternoon. It states Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater alerted US District Judge David Russell on Monday Sept. 28 that a key expert witness in the Government’s case presented false testimony at trial, and that US prosecutor Robert Don Gifford knowingly and deliberately failed to correct the testimony.
The judge then emailed both Durham’s attorney Stephen Jones and Gifford about the findings.
Prater told the judge Gifford had been informed by a current sitting Assistant District Attorney in charge of sex crimes in Oklahoma County that testimony regarding the alleged physical findings of abuse in the alleged victims by the Government’s medical expert, Dr. Mohammed was inaccurate, and not supported by medical research or the legitimate medical community.
The memo also raised the probability that Gifford failed to disclose exculpatory evidence. The court papers state he received information from a Dr. Brown that it would be quite rare for five individuals to have the same findings on an exam in regards to sexual assault, as was the case in this case, unless the perpetrator was using some type of instrumentation. Gifford was also told that it is rare to have findings in sexual abuse exams, especially in preadolescent children.
Today, Prater released this statement:
“When I determined the information had not been disclosed to the defense by the United States Attorney, it was my responsibility to report what I knew to United States District Judge David Russell so he would be aware of it and proceed as he determined necessary and appropriate. It was my duty to disclose the information that came to my attention. I take that responsibility seriously.”
The court papers go on to state that this evidence would disprove the testimony of Dr. Mohammed and that the findings of abuse by medical professionals in Kenya were also false.
In addition, the court papers state the defense team has received credible information that there was a serious personal misconduct and inappropriate contact occurring between a member of the prosecution team and a media representative (not from News 9) covering the trial.
Federal prosecutors so far have not responded to this filing. And a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office tells us they are not commenting on the allegations.
“We will review the court filing and determine what response is appropriate,” said Bob Troester with the U.S. Attorney’s Western District Office.
News 9 will have more with Stephen Jones, the attorney representing Matthew Durham in this federal case, coming up tonight at 4 and 6.
6/19/2015 Related Story: Matthew Durham Guilty On 7 Counts In Kenya Child Sex Abuse Trial