EDMOND, Okla. – An Oklahoma teenager, accused of sexually abusing children in Africa, is now asking the court to delay his trial.
Matthew Durham, 19, is facing charges for alleged sex crimes against Kenyan orphans.
According to court records, officials claim Durham raped boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 9-years-old during a mission trip to a Kenyan orphanage.
Earlier this month, Durham pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
His next court date was scheduled for Sept. 9, but now Durham’s attorneys are asking the judge for a delay.
This week, attorneys filed a motion to continue the trial and extend the pre-trial motions deadline.
The request states the defense believes this will be considered a “complex case” because the alleged crimes, victims and witnesses are all in Kenya.
“With the existing health and physical safety concerns in Kenya, traveling to Kenya will be tenuous,” the report states. “Counsel will also have to rely on translators and local professionals to navigate regional customs. The language barrier and cultural chasm further complicates the investigation. Finally, Counsel is totally dependent on the willingness of Kenyan witnesses to cooperate and speak to defense counsel and their investigators once they arrived. If Kenyan witnesses prove to be as uncooperative as stateside witnesses, Counsel’s task is going to be an arduous one.”
The motion states that witnesses in Oklahoma City have been “unwilling to speak with defense counsel’s investigators.”
It goes on to say that some witnesses have even requested the presence of an FBI agent, while others have refused to even speak about the case or answer their door.
“Counsel is left with the impression that they have either been instructed not to talk or negatively influenced by Ms. Menja against the defendant,” it went on to say.
The defendants are asking the case to be moved to March 2015.
The records claim the prosecutors do not object to the continuance.