A United States court has sentenced a former US missionary to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya. The US court said that the man, named, Matthew Lane Durham, currently 21 years of age, had committed “heinous crimes on the most vulnerable victims”.
Matthew Durham had targeted victims while serving as a volunteer at the Upendo Children’s Home in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi between the period of April and June 2014. The BBC reports that the Upendo Children’s home, the site of these atrocity has welcomed the sentence handed down by the court. There is already a video up on YouTube which features the headline; “Upendo Children Celebrate Justice!!” where the founder of the orphanage informs her colleagues of the sentencing which she had been in attendance to hear.
In court, Ms Menja who was said to have fought back tears as she read a statement, is quoted as saying that the sexual abuse carried out by Durham was “not only a betrayal of the Upendo mission but of the trust Upendo placed in him…Matthew Durham defiled the children. Matthew has no remorse. After he got caught, he still denied [the charges]”.
Matthew Durham who still persists in his insistence that he is innocent of the charges said however that he was sorry that the accusations brought against him had damaged the orphanage. Matthew Durham is only the latest ‘villain’ in stories of this nature and one can only hope that he will be the last for a long time.
Children by nature are meant to be trusting and innocent and missionaries do so much good work that stories like these cast such a negative light on the entire good they do. We wish the Upendo orphanage a speedy recovery from this betrayal.