Reynhard Sinaga (pictured above) is said to be Britain’s most prolific rapist
Reynahrd Sinaga lived in a scruffy flat close to Manchester’s gay village, but would boast of his wealthy family’s luxury lifestyle back home in Indonesia.
His life in Britain as a perpetual student was funded by money sent to him by his father, a property tycoon in the conservative South-East Asian country.
Sinaga appeared reluctant to return there because his parents Saibun and Normawaty, who did not know he was gay, wanted him to marry and settle down.
‘His father is a very rich man,’ one former friend recalled. ‘They have a mansion in the centre of Jakarta. He would boast of maids, drivers, all sorts.’
Sinaga, who has a younger sister and brother, clearly enjoyed Manchester’s liberal, tolerant lifestyle, and never hid his sexuality while living in the city.
It was the antithesis of Indonesia, where homosexuality is deeply frowned upon and still illegal in some states.
Privileged: Sinaga (centre) with his property tycoon father Saibun (right) and mother Normawaty (left)
Sinaga admitted he would adopt a more conservative appearance when travelling to visit family in his homeland.
The former friend said: ‘My impression is that the family found him not normal but he never told them he was gay. He used to change his hair and clothes to go home.’
Sinaga’s flat in Montana House was a few hundred yards from Manchester’s gay village, and just around the corner from bars and nightclubs frequented by the young students he preyed upon.
He ‘used to go on dates a lot’ and would ‘sleep around a lot too’, his friend said, adding: ‘His family is so rich he never worked and he would always be out in the week with different people, from what I remember.’
Sinaga (pictured above) is facing life for drugging and raping dozens of men in Manchester
A court sketch pictured above of Sinaga (centre) he has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years
He said Sinaga – who was ‘obsessed’ by the Spice Girls while he was growing up – claimed his family failed to understand him and found him ‘odd’.
‘His parents tried to make him meet some girl from his country. They wanted him to marry and have a family.’
Sinaga, known as Rey, came to the UK as a student in 2007, when he was 24. He completed an master’s in planning at Manchester University, then continued his studies at the same institution by taking another master’s degree in sociology, graduating in 2011.
After this he enrolled for a PhD in geography at Leeds University, regularly commuting there for supervisions on his thesis, entitled ‘Sexuality and everyday transnationalism. South Asian gay and bisexual men in Manchester’.
Sinaga was brought up a Roman Catholic and remained a devout Christian while in Manchester
He wrote essays on topics such as ‘queer geography’, some of which were published online, but academics found his work did not meet the required standard.
Leeds University suspended him on his arrest in 2017, and expelled him after his first trial in 2018.
Devastating scale of his depravity
Sinaga is thought to be the world’s worst sexual predator in terms of convictions.
No other rapist is believed to have been found guilty of such a huge number of crimes – but some are feared to have had at least as many victims.
Joji Obara is thought to have raped between 150 and 400 women in Japan.
Obara, now 68, went on trial for raping and killing British air stewardess Lucie Blackman in 2000. He got a life sentence for the abduction, dismemberment and disposal of the former BA worker’s body – but he was acquitted of causing her death. He also got life for raping nine other women.
British paedophile Richard Huckle is believed to have assaulted up to 200 children in South East Asia between 2006 and 2014.
He got 22 life sentences in the UK after admitting 71 charges of sex abuse. The 33-year-old was murdered by an inmate in HMP Full Sutton, North Yorkshire, last year.
Sinaga was brought up a Roman Catholic and remained a devout Christian while in Manchester.
He worshipped at St John’s and St Chrysostom’s, a liberal Anglican church in Rusholme, around a mile from his flat.
There he struck up friendships with two older gay men, referring to them as ‘his gay parents’.
Sinaga’s conviction has come as a profound shock to his family, who regularly visited him in Britain and are believed to have made at least one trip to see him in prison.
Family friend Sahat Sinaga, a palm oil tycoon based in Jakarta, said: ‘This is shocking news for them to have to face.’ Sinaga’s mother and sister Friska, a doctor, provided references for him at his trial. Judge Suzanne Goddard QC noted that they knew nothing of the ‘cold, cunning and calculated rapist’.
Mr Sinaga agreed, saying: ‘No, they wouldn’t know all this. They will be shocked, deeply shocked.’
Sinaga’s father has declined to comment about the case.
Sinaga would go looking for victims in the early hours of the morning, approaching lone young men around the Fifth Avenue and Factory nightclubs near his flat, the court heard.
He would ‘befriend’ them by chatting about university life or music, or offer assistance if they were too drunk for a taxi driver to take them home.
Victims simply thought he was trying to help them and most went willingly to his flat. But Sinaga’s true nature was revealed in an online chat with another gay friend about his exploits.
The friend joked: ‘There’s always a new one. F****** hell, darling, you get a different straight [man] every week.’ In response, Sinaga made light of the method he used to attack his victims – drugging them until they were unconscious.
‘F****** hell, black magic potion,’ he wrote. ‘Manchester is a magical city. City of gay romance, city of gay love. Take a sip of my secret poison. It’ll make you fall in love. One drop should be enough.’ Having twice raped one heterosexual man in the early hours of New Year’s Eve 2015, Sinaga told a friend in a sickening boast: ‘I met him in the Factory [a nearby bar]. Straight, 22, playing football. He was straight in 2014. 2015 is his breakthrough to the gay world hahaha.’
The unsuspecting victim said he had ‘felt guilty for having imposed himself on Mr Sinaga’.
In an exchange about another victim, a friend asked Sinaga: ‘Did you meet him on [gay dating app] Grindr, darling?’
They then joked about ‘Ray’s room being too messy’. The friend added: ‘There will be male bodies piling up under the bed.’
Sinaga replied: ‘Actually it is very discreet – a straight boys’ sanctuary. They are hiding in my closet.’
The friend likened Sinaga to ‘Robin Hood, stealing from the straights to give to the gays’.
One woman who knew Sinaga well until 2013 told The Guardian he thought of himself as ‘a bit of a Peter Pan’. She described him as ‘narcissistic and somewhat naive to everything’.
Passing sentence, Judge Goddard said Sinaga had shown ‘not a jot of remorse and indeed at times during the case seemed to actually be enjoying the trial process’.
He had grown his hair long and took notes during the trials. At one stage he even appeared to mock the prosecutor for his views on sex.
Sinaga hunted for drunk young men around nightclubs near his flat in Manchester (above)
Spirit bottles at Sinaga’s flat are pictured. He is thought to have drugged the men when giving them a drink from his selection of alcohol
He claimed it was ‘a bit discriminatory’ to say his exploits were ‘not like normal sex’, and accused prosecutor Iain Simkin of believing sex could ‘only be between a man and a woman’. Under cross-examination, Sinaga claimed his victims willingly participated in a ’50 Shades of Grey’-style sex game – a reference to the best-selling EL James novel about a sado-masochistic affair – and were only pretending to be asleep.
But in videos shown to Manchester Crown Court, one man could be seen motionless on the floor for 37 minutes, while another had a sheet put over his face. Several could be heard snoring. A laughing Sinaga told jurors: ‘Just because it looks weird or 50 Shades of Grey or something like that, a strange sexual fantasy, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
‘It happens underground, it’s common.’
The 5ft 7ins, softly-spoken rapist claimed he was ‘very gentle, caring and sensitive’ as he had sex with his victims as part of the game, rather than acting ‘creepily’ so as not to wake them up. In some of the footage, he could be seen moving away from his victims and turning out the light if they stirred so they would go back to sleep.
A map of Manchester city centre shows where Sinaga’s flat (in red) is located along with the nightclubs Factory and Fifth Avenue, which many of the complainants had earlier been to
Asked about his sexuality, Sinaga said: ‘I am openly gay.’ He agreed that he would describe himself as ‘flamboyant’. He said: ‘I make myself available all the time. For some I may look like a lady boy, which seems popular among curious young men looking for a gay experience. I am effeminate. It is natural in me.’
Sinaga said he chose his flat in central Manchester because ‘I wanted to live among the gay community and near the gay village’, adding that he went out there ‘most nights’.
Back in Indonesia, Sinaga’s family and friends have been cutting their ties with him, removing links and pictures on social media.
His face has vanished from the Facebook pages of those who listed him as a friend. No one could possibly blame them.
Rugby playing sixth former woke to find naked rapist molesting him: Teenager reveals how he beat up attacker, escaped… then led police back to his lair
By Richard Marsden for the Daily Mail
But for the bravery of one teenage victim, Reynhard Sinaga’s crimes may never have come to light.
The 18-year-old sixth former woke up in Sinaga’s flat to find himself being sexually assaulted.
Although still in a ‘confused and disorientated’ state he was able to push Sinaga off and fought with his naked attacker in order to escape.
Giving evidence, the victim said the rapist had persuaded him to go back to his flat to ‘get out of the cold’ after he lost touch with his friends in a nightclub.
Specialist police officers and victim support services are on standby to hear from anyone who believes Sinaga (pictured) may have approached them on a night out
He had left the Factory club in Manchester at around midnight and was waiting for a message from his friends when Sinaga approached.
At the flat the victim recalled having two shots of a red liquid. Sinaga then poured a ‘shot of clear liquid from something that looked like a Sambuca bottle’.
Although he had been drinking alcohol earlier that evening, the victim said he had been in the nightclub for only an hour and was not drunk.
Patel hints at law change on drug
Priti Patel has ordered an urgent inquiry into ‘date rape drugs’ after Reynhard Sinaga used them for his horrific sex crimes.
The Home Secretary called on her official advisers to look at whether tougher controls are needed for drugs such as GHB, also known as ‘liquid ecstasy’.
Sinaga is thought to have laced alcoholic drinks with drugs to knock out victims before raping them.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has called for an urgent review into whether more stringent controls are needed for date rape drugs
During his sentencing, Judge Suzanne Goddard said date rape drugs were ‘regrettably freely available’.
GHB is used recreationally to produce feelings of euphoria but an overdose can lead to unconsciousness, coma and death.
Responding to the case, Miss Patel said: ‘I’m deeply concerned by the use of illegal drugs like GHB to perpetrate these crimes and have asked the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to expedite a review looking at whether our controls for these drugs are tough enough.’
GHB is a Class C drug with possession leading to up to two years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.
Selling it carries a penalty of up to 14 years.
One option the ACMD could decide to recommend is moving GHB to Class B, so that possession carries a five-year sentence.
It is five years since serial killer Stephen Port used GHB and other drugs to knock out victims before raping them. He murdered four men at his flat in Barking, East London.
He said he ‘blacked out’ after drinking the clear liquid and remembered nothing until he woke up hours later, early in the morning of June 2, 2017.
The victim, a 6ft and 13st rugby player, acknowledged he was physically stronger than the slightly-built, 5ft 7in Sinaga.
However, he felt ‘weak’, possibly from the after-effects of the date rape drug that is believed to have been put in his drink.
Sinaga bit him ‘a few times’ and ‘pulled him back’ as he tried to leave the flat. The struggle left the rapist unconscious.
The victim grabbed his possessions and fled – but he had to return to the flat to call for help because his mobile phone was out of battery.
A resident of another apartment let him in, cleaned him up and allowed him to phone police and his mother.
The teenager beat up Sinaga so badly that he decided to dial 999 for an ambulance. The schoolboy was himself arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm because the rapist needed hospital treatment for a suspected bleed on the brain.
But detectives became suspicious when Sinaga started behaving strangely in hospital and refused to unlock his phone.
His victim had discovered the white iPhone 4 in his jeans – possibly put there by Sinaga in a panic. ‘I have no idea how it got there so that’s the only explanation there could have been. I didn’t put it there. Sinaga must have put it in my pocket,’ the victim said.
The blunder was to be the sex attacker’s undoing, as the phone’s contents revealed the shocking truth about his vile activities.
Police found videos of three rapes and an attempted rape against the teenager when he was unconscious, plus footage of attacks on a huge number of other men. A black iPhone and other electronic devices at Sinaga’s flat yielded footage of further crimes. Iain Simkin, prosecuting, said: ‘Reynhard Sinaga targeted, isolated, drugged and sexually attacked each of these complainants while they were unconscious.
‘Further, he recorded himself doing it, and if he hadn’t, nobody might ever have found out.’
When befriending the young men he targeted, Sinaga came across as friendly and kind.
But the videos showed that whenever his groggy victims stirred, he would push them back to the floor to continue the assaults.
Police have linked Reynhard Sinaga to more than 190 potential victims in total – 70 of whom they have not yet been able to identify
He would even turn out the light or cover the men with a duvet when he had finished.
Most victims woke feeling ‘sick and disorientated’ but had no idea they had been raped.
Sinaga explained away the fact that some victims woke naked or partially-undressed by saying their clothes were covered in vomit and he had taken them off to make them more comfortable.
The majority of his victims parted on friendly terms with him. But on one occasion Sinaga became ‘aggressive and threatening’ to a man he had raped four times.
He warned he would ‘leather’ or bite him if he didn’t leave.
He tried to force another 18-year-old schoolboy victmi to give him cash, marching him to an ATM, but there was no money in his account. Some men even ‘felt guilty for having troubled [Sinaga] – a stranger to them – for a floor to sleep on for the night’, Judge Suzanne Goddard said.
One victim said: ‘As far as I was concerned, I thought he had done me a good turn. I agreed to be his friend on Facebook and I think I messaged him when I got home.’
But some victims had suspicions about their encounter.
Apart from the first teenager who fully woke up, another man came round while being attacked but ‘could not move his arms’.
He did not report the incident at the time and police became aware of what happened only due to the phone footage filmed by Sinaga.
On one occasion – two years before the rapist was caught – police attended his block of flats after a victim who had been reported missing by his girlfriend woke to find himself there.
The man did not believe anything untoward had happened and there was no reason to search the flat or question Sinaga, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Police were able to trace Sinaga’s victims because he had taken screenshots of their social media pages and kept personal items such as driving licences, bank cards and even one phone as ‘trophies’.
Sinaga did not wear a condom and the victims faced the added ordeal of medical tests before they were reassured they had not contracted any infections.
How many more did he rape? Churchgoing Manchester PhD student who became the world’s most prolific sex attacker after assaulting 195 men ‘could have had more victims’
By Richard Marsden for the Daily Mail
A churchgoing PhD student was unmasked yesterday as the world’s worst serial rapist.
Reynhard Sinaga, 36, preyed on at least 195 young men and police admit the true figure may be higher. Jailing him for 30 years, a judge called him a ‘monster’.
Sinaga incapacitated victims with the date rape drug GHB before filming his attacks. Last night Home Secretary Priti Patel ordered a review into whether tougher controls are needed for the Class C drug widely used recreationally among the gay community.
Sinaga, who mostly targeted heterosexual students in Manchester, was convicted of 159 attacks, including 136 rapes, eight attempted rapes and 15 indecent assaults against 48 victims. Four trials were held over 18 months.
Sinaga (left) claimed the men consented to being recorded playing a sex game in which they pretended to be dead to fulfil his fantasies at his flat (right, where blood was seen on the door)
Footage was found of him assaulting up to 195 different men, 70 of whom have not been traced.
‘He would almost certainly be the most prolific sex offender to have gone through the British courts and quite possibly any court in the world,’ said Ian Rushton, North West deputy chief crown prosecutor.
The videos of the attacks Sinaga was charged with are believed to date from 2015 to 2017 and Sinaga arrived in Britain in 2007. A source said: ‘What he did in the intervening years is unknown and it is possible there are many more victims.’
As the authorities faced questions about how Sinaga was able to get away with his crimes for so long:
- Manchester University and police set up support helplines;
- Detectives appealed for other victims to come forward;
- It emerged that two men targeted by Sinaga attempted suicide;
- Jurors were offered counselling after having to watch videos of Sinaga’s rapes.
The shocking case can finally be reported after the lifting of court reporting restrictions. Indonesian-born Sinaga was already serving a minimum of 20 years after being found guilty at trials in July 2018 and May 2019. Trials in October and December saw further convictions.
He posed as a ‘good Samaritan’ to men who had become separated from their friends on nights out in central Manchester. The slightly-built sex attacker, who described himself in court as an effeminate gay man, would strike up conversation and invite them to his nearby flat.
Sinaga’s iPhone 4 (left) and iPhone 6 Plus (right) are pictured in CPS evidence photos
|Number of victims||Rape||Attempt Rape||Assault by Penetration||Sexual Assault||Total|
His victims ranged from 18 to 36 but the average age was 21, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Most were students and some were still at school, including the sixth former whose escape from his vile clutches led to Sinaga being arrested.
Passing sentence, Judge Suzanne Goddard QC said Sinaga was a dangerous offender who had committed evil crimes.
Timeline of Reynhard Sinaga’s sexual assaults
January 2015 to May 2017: The period over which Reynhard Sinaga was said to have committed sex assaults against 48 men in Manchester
June 1 to July 10, 2018: Sinaga goes on his first trial which sees him convicted of 31 counts of rape, three counts of attempted rape and six counts of sexual assault.
April 1 to May 7, 2019: Sinaga goes on trial for the second time and is convicted of 49 counts of rape, five counts of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault. He is jailed for 20 years after the first two trials.
September 16 to October 4, 2019: Sinaga goes on his third trial and is convicted of 26 counts of rape, one count of assault by penetration and five counts of sexual assault.
December 2, 2019 and December 20, 2019: Sinaga goes on his fourth trial and is convicted of 30 counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.
Today: Sinaga is jailed for at least 30 years over the third and fourth trials. In total, he was found guilty across all four trials of 159 offences – 136 rapes, eight attempted rapes, 14 sexual assaults, and one by penetration.
She added: ‘I’m not aware of any other case of sexual offending on this scale and magnitude. This was a campaign of rape which, in my judgement, justifies the highest of sentences.
‘One of your victims described you as a monster. The scale and enormity of your offending establishes that is an accurate description.’ She called Sinaga a ‘highly dangerous, cunning and deceitful individual who will never be safe to release’ – also pointing out that he could have killed or seriously injured his victims by spiking their drinks.
She said she would have imposed a whole life term – a UK first for a case not involving murder – but for the fact that Sinaga did not torture his victims.
The Crown Prosecution Service said the investigation was the largest rape case it had ever handled.
Mr Rushton said: ‘His extreme sense of sexual entitlement almost defies belief and he would no doubt still be adding to his staggering tally had he not been caught. He used victims as objects purely for his own gratification.’
Sinaga, who came to Manchester as a student funded by his wealthy Indonesian family, boasted to friends about using ‘black magic potion’ and ‘secret poison’ to have sex with straight men.
He denied all the offences, claiming his victims had agreed to play dead during sex in a 50 Shades of Grey fantasy.
Sinaga had two degrees from Manchester University and was taking a PhD in geography at Leeds University at the time of his arrest in June 2017. Although raised a Catholic, he attended a liberal Anglican church close to his flat.
The court heard that Sinaga’s victims had suffered ‘deep and lasting psychological harm’. Two of the men attempted suicide, while others told how the trauma of what happened had ruined their lives and forced them to take to drink.
Nazir Afzal, a former North West chief crown prosecutor, said law enforcement agencies were being ‘overly reactive’.
He added: ‘They wait for brave victims to come forward. They don’t look for patterns, join the dots or assume the worst.
‘It’s better that we presume that predators exist in every environment and go looking for them.’
Greater Manchester Police urged other potential victims of Sinaga or anyone requiring support to come forward.