'The Devil Made Me Do It,' Claims Missionary Who Admits Raping Children

Matthew Durham
Matthew Lane Durham, 19, is charged with traveling to Kenya to sexually abuse children at a missionary children's home. (Facebook via New York Daily News)

An Oklahoma teen charged with raping and sexually assaulting numerous children while volunteering at a missionary children's home in Kenya says a demon made him do it, prosecutors said on Friday.

Matthew Durham, 19, of Edmond faced a judge on Friday regarding accusations he raped up to 10 boys and girls aged 6 to 9 at the Upendo Children's Home in the capital, Nairobi, which helps care for neglected and disabled children.

According to court documents, Durham confessed to the sexual assaults when confronted by church members.

Prosecutors said Durham told a friend he had a demon named "Luke" inside him, and that Durham said "Luke" told him to sexually abuse the children.

Defense attorneys contend that Upendo missionary members coerced Durham's confession by withholding food and his passport until he conceded his guilt.

The defense also alleges that members of the children's home urged him to say he had a demon inside him during his confession.

Durham faces a detention hearing on Monday. A grand jury investigation is also scheduled for next week.

According to the criminal affidavit, from April to June, Durham allegedly engaged in sexual acts with multiple children, male and female, ranging from rape to forcible oral sex.

In June, a live-in caretaker at the facility said he noticed strange behavior, and the children, when asked, said Durham either touched them sexually or told them to touch themselves while he watched.

Upendo Children's Home provides schooling, housing, food and shelter for neglected and disabled Kenyan children and is funded through private donations and sponsorships. Its founder lives in Edmond and immigrated to the United States from Nairobi.

Reporting by Heide Brandes; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney

© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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