A federal grand jury decided there's enough evidence to go to trial in the case of an Edmond man accused of sexually abusing children while on a mission trip to Kenya.
A grand jury charged 19-year-old Matthew Durham with 21 additional counts. A federal grand jury decided there is enough evidence to go to trial in the case of an Edmond man accused of sexually abusing children while on a mission trip to Kenya. A grand jury charged 19-year-old Matthew Durham with 21 additional counts. Each of the 24 total counts carried no less than 30 years to life in prison plus fines.
Count one was filed against Durham for engaging in a sexual act with a 5-year-old girl. Count two was for a sexual act with a 6-year-old girl. Count three was for a sexual act with a 10-year-old boy. The next 21 new counts read just the same and Durham's attorney said he believes the counts are ridiculous.
“Where they come from is a deliberate effort by the government to put us in a situation where we're close to trial, drop 21 new counts on us and at the same time delay discovery,” Stephen Jones said.
Friday Durham entered a not guilty plea. He will be in the Logan County Jail until his trial, but from now until that trial isn't enough time, according to his defense.
“They dumped on us in January 554 hours of telephone conversations between Matt and his parents while he's at the Logan County Jail, and, of course, we have to listen to that,” Jones said. “They, of course, have been listening for six months.”
Counts 1-8 were filed for aggravated sexual abuse with children. Counts 9-16 were for travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and 17-24 were for engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.
“Every parent in Oklahoma City whose child is solicited to do missionary work in Africa needs to check very carefully where they're going, because it is a dangerous place to go,” Jones said. “The first three trips were unsensational, and they invited him back.”
Jones said he will ask for a continuance and for the judge to unseal the records.
The trial was set for March 10.
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