US man jailed for abusing Kenyan orphans

By BBC

A former US missionary has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Nairobi. 

Matthew Lane Durham, 21, had committed “heinous crimes on the most vulnerable victims”, the US court said.

Durham targeted orphans while working as a volunteer at the Upendo Children’s Home in  Nairobi, between April and June 2014.

He is the latest charity worker in Kenya to be convicted of sex crimes.

Last year, UK charity boss Simon Harris, 55, was jailed for more than 17 years by a UK court for abusing street children between 1996 and 2013 in the agricultural town of Gilgil in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

‘Worst nightmare’

Upendo Children’s Home founder, Eunice Menja, fought back tears as she read a statement at the court in Oklahoma city, 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”, the Associated Press news agency reports.

“Matthew Durham defiled the children. Matthew has no remorse. After he got caught, he still denied [the charges],” she is quoted as saying.

Although Durham said he was innocent of the charges, he added that he was sorry that the accusations against him had damaged the orphanage.

“The Upendo kids do not deserve this,” Durham said, AP reports.

Judge David Russell said Durham was the abused children’s “worst nightmare come true”, it reported.

The court also ordered the former charity worker to pay restitution of $15,863 (£11,000).

  

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