Oklahoma man appeals conviction in Kenyan orphanage abuse

Man convicted of sexually abusing children at a Kenyan orphanage plans to appeal his conviction and 40-year prison sentence. Logan County Sheriff's Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man found guilty of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya has told federal officials he plans to appeal his conviction and 40-year prison sentence.

Attorneys for 21-year-ld Matthew Lane Durham of Edmond filed a notice of appeal on Monday, two weeks after he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David L. Russell.

A 12-member jury convicted Durham in June of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places but cleared him of accusations that he had planned to abuse the children before leaving the United States.

Prosecutors alleged Durham targeted orphans while volunteering at the Upendo Children's Home in Nairobi between April and June 2014. But Durham's attorneys claim he is innocent and that incriminating statements he made were coerced by orphanage officials.

Before sentencing earlier this month, prosecutors had said in a court filing that Durham should be sentenced to the maximum 30 years on each count and that the sentences run consecutively for a total of 120 years, The Gayly reported. Prosecutors said the victims are "psychologically damaged."

Defense attorney Stephen Jones had asked originally for an eight-year sentence plus probation because Durham has no criminal history.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

The Gayly- 3/21/2016 @ 1:50 PM CST.