OKLAHOMA CITY -- In a video confession shown in federal court, Matthew Durham described the struggles that ultimately put him behind bars.
“Even when I read my Bible in that room, that temptation would come, that temptation to touch children and to be with other men, it would come strong, and I’d try to pray to get that away,” Durham said.
On Friday, the 20-year-old was found guilty on seven counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with Kenyan children while on a mission trip in Africa.
Now, NewsChannel 4 is exclusively showing you the confession video that helped sway the jury.
Durham’s attorney insists the orphanage held Durham against his will until he admitted to crimes he says he didn’t do. The defense argued Durham confessed under pressure from orphanage officials because they took his passport.
The orphanage leader recorded the confession video, and she told NewsChannel 4 she has no doubt in her mind that Durham molested the children who were in her care.
On cell phone video, Durham describes the beginning of a sexual encounter with a little Kenyan girl.
“Late at night I would take her from her bed… I’d tell her to go to the bathroom,” Durham said.
Orphanage leader Eunice Menja recorded the confession. She said she demanded the truth from Durham after the rape allegations came to light.
“The children were verbally saying they had been sexually abused, but I didn’t know how much the abuse was,” Menja said.
Prosecutors say Durham threatened the children not to say anything about the sexual abuse, or they’d lose their sponsorships to go to school.
“I would tell them not to tell anyone,” Durham says in the video.
Most of this case was sealed before the federal trial, but now we know Durham’s legal team allegedly harassed the young orphan victims.
Court documents show a man working for the defense in Kenya “represented himself to officials at the Upendo Children’s Home as ‘working with the FBI,’ and to Kenyan Government officials as being a ‘volunteer’ at Upendo when trying to get information about the Children’s Home.”
“I think he was trying to talk to the children, and he thought that him being a Kenyan and a Swahili speaker that those children would’ve been swayed and not tell the truth,” Menja said.
Five of the children testified in the trial.
They’ll return home this week, where foreign adoptions of Kenyan children have stopped because of this case.
“The guilty verdict is justice. That’s what it is. It might never heal the children, it might never bring back their innocence. I’m glad it was served because I hope it is a lesson,” Menja said.
Durham’s attorney says he plans to file a motion for acquittal.