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Press Release

Edmond Man Charged With Traveling To Kenya To Engage In Illicit Sexual Conduct With Underage Children

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Late last Friday, a criminal complaint was unsealed charging MATTHEW LANE DURHAM, 19, from Edmond, Oklahoma, with traveling to Kenya to engage in illicit sexual conduct with underage children, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to court records, Durham was a volunteer at the Upendo Children’s Home, located in Nairobi, Kenya, that was founded by an American citizen who is a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma. Upendo specializes in assisting neglected Kenyan children by providing them with food, housing, clothes, school and religion. The school is funded through sponsorships and donations. It is alleged that Durham volunteered with Upendo in June of 2012, June of 2013, December of 2013, and from April 30 to June 17, 2014. It is alleged that on the latest trip to Kenya, Durham stayed at the children’s home in an “overflow bunk” rather than at an offsite facility with a sponsor family where he stayed on prior visits. The complaint alleges that during the period from April to June of 2014, Durham engaged in sexual acts with multiple children, male and female, ranging in ages from four to ten. Reference is made to the criminal complaint for further information.

Durham was arrested on July 17, 2014, and appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge in Oklahoma City late last Friday afternoon. He is held without bond and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 1, 2014.

If convicted, Durham faces up to life in prison. The public is reminded that Durham is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Embassy in Kenya, and the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Criminal Investigative Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Don Gifford, II.

Updated December 15, 2014