Jurors shown taped confession in case against Edmond man accused of sexually abusing Kenyan orphans

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EDMOND, Okla. –The trial of a 20-year-old Edmond man accused of molesting African orphans is underway in federal court.

Matthew Lane Durham has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges, including aggravated sexual abuse and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.

Prosecutors played Durham's video confession in court, and the cell phone video sparked a lot of emotion in the courtroom.

The video was taken by the orphanage director in Kenya.

In it, Durham describes in detail what he allegedly did to the orphan children.

At first, he said he was having strange dreams from his Malaria medication. Then, he is seen admitting to raping some of the orphan girls.

Describing one of them, he said late at night he would take her from her bed and tell her to go to the bathroom. In the video, he said he raped her many times.

One of the college students who was on the Kenya mission trip testified Durham told her about a so-called "bed wetting program," in which he was supposed to leave where he was sleeping to take the boys to the bathroom late at night.

The orphanage director testified they moved Durham to a different house away from the children after the allegations of sexual abuse surfaced.

She told the court Durham would text message her, begging for forgiveness.

One text read, "I've prayed so many times that God will rid this demon inside me."

Another read, "Tell all the kids how sorry I am, and I am praying for forgiveness every hour."

In a fiery exchange, Durham's attorney challenged the orphanage director about why she didn't go to law enforcement right away, instead of trying to investigate the matter herself.

The defense claims the video is coerced, that orphanage officials took Durham's passport and threatened to turn him over to Kenyan police if he didn't admit to the crimes.

The defense claims orphanage officials had a motive and saw an opportunity; the orphanage received $17,000 in U.S. government money for the alleged crime.

If convicted, Durham faces life in prison.

 

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