An Oklahoman teen is accused of molesting children at an orphanage while on a mission trip to Kenya, but his attorney alleges he was coerced into a phony confession.
Matthew Durham, 19 was charged Friday with four counts of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with children, The Oklahoman reports.
Durham has gone on four faith-based volunteer trips to the Upendo Children’s Home, a Christian orphanage in Nairobi, since June 2012. Federal prosecutors say that on the last trip, from April 30 to June 17 this year, children told caretakers there that Durham abused them.
The children were between the ages of four and 10, according to an FBI press release.
The founder of the Upendo Hone, Eunice Menja, told the FBI that Durham confessed to raping several girls and forcing boys to perform oral sex on him. Menja videotaped a portion of Durham's statement and made him produce a written admission, according to the Christian Post.
Durham's attorney Steven Jones told The Oklahoman that "the affidavit it is shot through with inaccuracies" and that the teen's "confession" was made under duress.
Jones said that:
"The events that occurred in Kenya the last maybe five six days that Matt was there frankly reveal some sort of pseudo-tribal psychological voodoo practiced on him, including confiscating his passport, false imprisonment, keeping food from him one day, delay in allowing him to depart from the country, misleading his parents. I don’t think Hollywood could make up what happened at this so-called orphanage."
If convicted, Durham faces life in prison.