FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Logan County Sheriff’s Office shows Matthew Lane Durham, 21, of Edmond, Okla. Durham, who was found guilty of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya in 2014, is scheduled by be sentenced Monday, March 7, 2016, in Oklahoma City. (Logan County Sheriff’s Photo via AP, File)
US man gets 40 years in prison for Kenya orphan sexual abuse
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former missionary convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya was sentenced Monday to 40 years in a U.S. prison.
Matthew Lane Durham, 21, had faced up to 30 years on each of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. He was ordered to pay restitution of $15,863.
Durham asked the court for mercy. “All I wanted was to follow God’s plan for me,” he told the judge.
Defense attorney Stephen Jones has said Durham plans to appeal. He has described Durham, who was 19 when he was charged, as “an emotionally vulnerable teenager” who was struggling with sexual identity while being a devout Christian.
Prosecutors alleged Durham targeted orphans while volunteering at the Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi between April and June 2014. Durham had served as a volunteer since 2012 at the orphanage, which specializes in caring for neglected children.
Orphanage officials and five of the children traveled from Kenya to testify at the trial.READ MORE