An Oklahoma missionary is on trial for his life after confessing to molesting and raping as many as 10 orphans during a mission trip to Kenya.
20-year-old Matthew Durham told a U.S. federal court on Wednesday he was innocent but believed he was possessed by an evil spirit that made him do things he does not remember.
Previously Durham claimed a demon named Luke made him do it.
Durham is facing life behind bars after admitting to raping and sexually abusing up to 10 orphaned children while he was volunteering as a missionary in Kenya’s Upendo Children’s Home near Nairobi between April and June of last year.
In oral and written statements, Durham allegedly confessed that he spanked, caressed, and engaged in sex acts with young girls and boys at the orphanage. He also wrote that he would force the children to watch while he touched himself.
However, Durham’s attorney claims the teen’s confession was coerced by orphanage officials in Kenya who kept him in isolation and confiscated his passport.Prosecutors report that Durham had sex with as many as 10 children between the ages of four and 10, at least one of whom was HIV positive, during his three month missionary trip that started in April of 2014.
In text messages, Durham claimed that a demon named Luke was coming to him at night. Texting to an unnamed friend Durham wrote:
Every night Luke gets what Luke wants
Durham faces 17 charges of raping and sexually abusing children as young as 6 when he was performing Christian missionary work at the Upendo Children’s Home in Kenya.
If convicted, Durham could face life in prison.
At the time of this post, Friday, June 19, the jury was deliberating on Durham’s fate. An update will be posted when a decision is reached.
(Portions of this article were previously published here)