OK-- Victims urge church group to act in Oklahoma sex case
For immediate release: Friday, June 19
We’re glad an Oklahoma child molester has been convicted but now his church colleagues must aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected, suffered or concealed his crimes.
Matthew Lane Durham, a missionary, has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting kids in Kenya. But we strongly suspect that others knew of or suspected his crimes and ignored or hid them. We urge the church agency that helped arrange his time in Africa to aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by Durham.
Organizations that unintentionally help predators gain access to kids have a moral and a civic duty to do all they can to seek out and comfort those who are hurt by these predators. This is especially important in cases like this.
A judge will sentence Durham. It’s best if that judge has the most accurate knowledge possible about Durham’s crimes. So we urge Durham’s former church supervisors and colleagues to take every step possible to locate other victims and prod them to cooperate with the justice system.
And we hope the judge will put Durham behind bars for a long time so kids are safer.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Jury convicts Oklahoma man of abusing children at Kenyan orphanage
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2015 12:40 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY — A jury has convicted an Oklahoma man of illicit sexual conduct with children at a Kenyan orphanage.
A federal jury has resumed its deliberations in the trial of an Oklahoma man charged with sexually abusing children at a Kenyan orphanage.
A second day of deliberations began Friday morning in the trial of 20-year-old Matthew Lane Durham, who is being represented by Enid attorney Stephen Jones. Durham has pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of sexual misconduct with children, including aggravated sexual abuse and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Prosecutors allege Durham targeted orphans while serving as a volunteer at the Upendo Children's Home in Nairobi, Kenya, between April and June 2014. The orphanage cares for . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.