Matthew Durham Enters Plea In Child Sex Crimes Case

Friday, August 8th 2014, 9:01 pm
By: News 9

An Edmond teenager pleads not guilty to child sex crimes.

Matthew Durham, 19, pleaded not guilty to all three counts against him. He is accused of raping young orphans during a mission trip in Kenya, and both sides were represented in court Friday.

Matthew Durham's family left the courthouse without him. Durham was indicted earlier this week, and at the government's request, he will remain in custody until trial.

8/5/2014 Related Story: Edmond Man Accused Of Child Sex Crimes In Kenya Federally Indicted

During a brief arraignment this afternoon, Durham heard an explanation of each count against him: Traveling with intent to engage in illicit conduct, engaging in sexual conduct in foreign places and aggravated sexual abuse.

The crimes allegedly occurred in Kenya between April and June 2014.

Durham had traveled with Upendo, a charitable organization that operates a shelter for neglected children in Kenya.

8/8/2014 Related Story: Edmond Man Accused Of Child Sex Crimes In Kenya To Enter Plea

According to court papers, Durham confessed to the crimes in writing and on video and admitted to "a life-long struggle of desires to touch children."

The government claims Durham blamed the alleged behavior on an "inner demon" he named "Luke."

Durham's attorney, Stephen Jones, disputes the credibility of the alleged confession.

He said in a previous statement, "Instead of calling the Kenyan authorities, they withheld his passport and held him against his will for five days" until he admitted to sexually molesting children.

Upendo representatives declined to comment following the arraignment.

It's possible Upendo representatives are staying tight lipped, because Durham has allegedly threatened to burn down the house on of the witnesses.

Durham's family also declined to comment at this time.

Durham is set on the September jury docket, but the defense plans to ask for more time due to international travel to speak with witnesses.