Edmond missionary’s mother testifies as defense begins in international sex crimes trial

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EDMOND, Okla. -- Melissa Durham, the defendant's mother, was in Kenya with Matthew for a significant part of his trip, and she said they slept in bunk beds in the same room at the orphanage. She was set to go home much earlier than Matthew, and she did.
Four days after she left, her youngest son, Matthew, was accused of molesting the orphan children.
Melissa Durham testified Tuesday, her son Matthew called her from Kenya, upset over allegations made against him, and he said he'd be coming home early.
That was in June 2014, just a few days after Melissa Durham returned to the United States. She testified, Matt told her on the phone orphanage officials accused him of molesting some of the orphan girls, and he denied it. 

In court, prosecutors played part of Matthew's video confession again, where Matthew is seen talking to his mother on the phone, admitting to her that he touched the children.

Mrs. Durham testified she told Matthew to do whatever orphanage officials wanted him to do.

Defense attorneys say the orphanage director took Matthew's passport and kept him isolated before he confessed on video to molesting the children.

Mrs. Durham said she called her uncle to help find a flight home for Matthew as soon as possible. 

The defense also called two medical experts to the stand. A forensic interviewer who is paid $2,000 a day for her testimony, told the court she felt the alleged victims were coached. Another defense expert, a nurse, criticized the way the rape exams were done on the children.

Matthew Durham and his father will take the stand before the case goes to the jury Wednesday.

If convicted, Durham faces life in prison.


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