19-year-old Matthew Durham is facing possible life in prison after authorities say he admitted to raping several young girls, forcing some boys to perform oral sex on him and even making other kids watch while on an African mission trip. Thankfully, he’s being held without bond. It’s being reported that while Durham was volunteering at a Kenyan children’s home when he allegedly raped and molested a number of young children. Durham traveled to Kenya with the organization, Upendo, that assists neglected Kenyan kids by providing food, housing, clothes and religion.
“This is a young man in our community that made choices to exploit children in an orphanage,” said United States Attorney Sanford Coats. “It’s a true tragedy all the way around.” Durham volunteered to travel to Africa several times over the last two years and during his last visit, the criminal complaint alleges, “Durham requested to stay at the children’s home in an ‘overflow bunk’ rather than at an offsite facility.” And it was this visit when children complained that Durham “often touched them in a sexual manner or told them to touch themselves while he watched.”
Durham came clean about the allegations after he was confronted. “A caretaker at the orphanage noticed something wasn’t right and confronted Mr. Durham. He admitted to some of the acts,” said Coats. Durham’s poor victims were all believed to be boys and girls between the ages of four and nine. At least one of those victims is HIV positive.
I know it sounds terrible and Lord forgive me if I am wrong, but I hope that infected child, infected Durham. There’s a special place in hell for someone who takes advantage of not only children, but children who have no home, no family and no sense of belonging. He exploited this poor kids and their need for love and affection and has created a space for insecurity, distrust and fear. I hope these kids get the therapy and after-care that they need.