A Christian missionary from Oklahoma who claimed he was possessed by a demon has been convicted of sexually abusing children at a Kenyan orphanage.
Friday afternoon, a federal jury found 20-year-old Matthew Durham guilty on seven counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. He faces up to 30 years for each of the seven counts.
Durham showed no emotion when the verdict was read.
Durham committed his crimes while he was volunteering as a missionary in Kenya’s Upendo Children’s Home near Nairobi between April and June of last year.
Earlier this week, Durham testified in federal court that he was innocent but believed he was possessed by an evil spirit that made him do things he does not remember.
In text messages, Durham claimed that a demon named Luke was coming to him at night. Texting to an unnamed friend Durham once wrote:
Every night Luke gets what Luke wants
Commenting on the case, U.S. Attorney Sandy Coats said:
This case shows the FBI, law enforcement, prosecutors, we protect all children, no matter where they’re from.
U.S. Attorney Coats added:
This is not a verdict to celebrate. The only winner here is justice.
Bottom line is that Mr. Durham is a threat to children, and it will be our position that he should be extricated from society at sentencing for a significant period of time.
Durham faces 210 years in prison if he receives the maximum penalty for each count. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.
(Portions of this article were previously published here)