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OKLAHOMA CITY –
Matthew Durham, the Edmond missionary charged with sexually assaulting children from a Kenyan orphanage, testified Wednesday.
Durham is charged with more than a dozen counts of sexual misconduct stemming from trip he took last April through May. Durham repeatedly told the jury throughout his six hours of testimony that he never molested any of the children from the orphanage where he volunteered.
Durham recalled the initial meeting with orphanage officials after first learning of the allegations. According to one volunteer, children had come forward saying Durham pulled them from their beds at night and molested them.
During that meeting, Durham denied abusing the children, saying, “I don’t remember. I wouldn’t do this.”
Durham says he was threatened to confess because they had recorded proof of the assaults and an eyewitness, but that evidence was never shown to him. He also spoke about a possible “inner demon” or “spirit” called Luke.
He believes “Luke” came out at night and whispered in his ear things to do to the children. He told the jury, “What if the demon wanted me to do mission work to be around children?”
Following this meeting, Durham was placed in a room away from the orphanage. He said during that time he began to question his memory. But Durham told the jury he was not allowed to return home from until he confessed.
Durham admitted he’s struggled with the temptation of wanting to touch children and other men. But despite those feelings Durham remains firm that he’s innocent.
Closing arguments will begin Thursday morning and the jury is expected to begin deliberations by the afternoon.