Bombshell dropped in case against Oklahoma man accused of sex crimes against Kenyan kids
EDMOND, Okla. –The courtroom was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.
Prosecutors called Matthew Durham’s father, Kyle Durham, to testify in the sex crimes case against his son.
20-year-old Matthew Durham had pleaded not guilty to 17 charges.
He’s accused of molesting orphan children on a 2014 mission trip to Kenya.
Friday, U.S. Attorneys played jail phone calls between the father and son the night Matthew got arrested in Oklahoma.
On that call, he told his dad to research coerced confessions – the defense Durham’s attorneys are now making in his trial.
Kyle Durham testified Friday he took Matt to see a counselor as soon as Matt arrived home from Kenya in June 2014.
Kyle told the court Matt wasn’t the same when he got off the plane. About a month later, Matt was arrested.
The judge sent the jury out Friday while Durham’s attorney argued with prosecutors over allowing into evidence phone calls between Kyle and Matt Durham while Matt was in the Logan County jail.
The judge allowed in a couple of the calls, including one where Matt is heard telling his dad to research coerced confessions and “Central Park 5,” a documentary about coerced confessions. Durham’s attorney is arguing Matt’s confession to the orphanage director in Kenya was coerced.
In another jail phone call, prosecutors say Matt told his dad his favorite book in the Bible is Luke.
One of Durham’s friends testified that Matt told her he had someone in his head named Luke who told him what he did to the Kenyan orphans.
The court also heard from a Kenyan doctor who determined six of the alleged victims, all girls, had been sexually assaulted.
Durham’s attorneys will call Melissa Durham, Matt’s mother, to testify when it’s the defense’s turn.
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.
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.