MANCHESTER: “I wish the worst for him. I want him to feel the pain and the sufferance I have felt. He has destroyed a part of my life.”
That was the anger felt by one of Reynhard Sinaga’s many victims, who only found out they had been drugged and raped weeks or months – and in some cases, years – after the attacks.
Indonesian student Sinaga was described as Britain’s most prolific and worst rapist, after he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday (Jan 6) in Manchester Crown Court.
The 36-year-old PhD student was convicted of 159 counts of sexual offences against 48 men, but police have uncovered evidence that show Sinaga had raped at least 195 men over a two-and-a-half year period.
All of them were drugged and sexually assaulted.
When they finally regained consciousness and found themselves in bed, they were unaware they had been raped by a supposedly Good Samaritan who had taken them in.
The men only found out when the police showed up at their door.
“I will never forget the day the police came to see me. I did not know why they needed to see me but I can say I was absolutely devastated to hear that I had been a victim of rape, after being drugged and this sexual act was filmed by a man I now know to be Sinaga,” one of them explained.
All victims of sexual assault are given lifelong anonymity according to British law.
PROWLED THE STREETS FOR VICTIMS
The court heard how Sinaga “prowled the streets” for victims, many of whom were drunk or had lost their way.
He targeted young men – his victims were between 17 and 33 years old – and looked for anyone who might be incapacitated after a night out.
The courts were told Sinaga had a “template” for his attacks. One student had been out with his girlfriend and had become drunk at the Factory nightclub, which was next to Sinaga’s flat in Princess Street, Manchester.
This nightclub would feature heavily in Sinaga’s case – many of his victims had either been drinking at the Factory or Fifth Avenue clubs near his place.
His victim, known only as LF, 19, had left the nightclub after arguing with his girlfriend. It was then he met Sinaga, who invited LF back to his apartment for a drink.
But once there, Sinaga drugged him with what police believe to be date-rape drug GHB.
“The prosecution’s case is that the attack on LF bears striking similarity to the attacks perpetrated against the other complainants in this indictment,” the court was told.
Over four trials, the courts heard his “small stature and friendly approach” meant none of the men “felt intimidated” by him, and accepted his offer of either a place to stay or to charge their phones.
Filming the rapes on two iPhones, some of the attacks lasted hours, with Sinaga taking care not to wake his victims.
“You paid careful attention to your victim’s state of consciousness before and during sex,” Judge Suzanne Goddard QC said to Sinaga, in sentencing him.
“At times, you switched the lights off and re-covered them with a duvet when they stirred, with the intention of ensuring they remained unconscious.”
DID NOT STOP ASSAULT DESPITE VOMITING
The drugs were so strong, he risked killing his victims, the court heard. They also caused complete memory loss.
“Several (victims) were snoring throughout when you were sexually assaulting them. Some of your victims can be heard to be making rambling, incoherent noises,” said Judge Goddard.
“Some had vomited. Some had wet themselves. None of this caused you to stop your assaults on them.”
One victim explained: “I could recall the events of the evening the police were talking about, but had no memory of any offences committed against me due to a complete lack of memory.”
“I don’t think I will ever be okay with what has happened,” added another.
Sinaga was arrested after his last victim woke up during a rape and fought back, before handing over to police a white iPhone that the Indonesian had used to film the act.
After raiding the flat, they found thousands of films and pictures depicting him raping men – police found evidence of rapes of 195 victims.
The serial rapist also kept ‘trophies’ of the men he had raped – phones, driving licences and watches that he stored away in a box.
He boasted about the rapes to his friends, claiming he had "pulled" the men and they had consensual sex – but it couldn't be further from the truth.
All of the 48 victims identified by police had no inkling they had been raped.
“I remember the day the police contacted me. It is a day I will never forget because it changed my life forever,” said one victim.
All the men refused to view the films or did not want to know the details of what happened to them. Police said the victims “all were deeply traumatised” at the thought of what Sinaga had done.
But by claiming the men were playing out his “sexual fantasy” of “playing dead”, Sinaga forced the men to testify in court – the four trials were spread over nearly two years.
“I was very anxious giving evidence. It was very traumatic for me because I knew I had to face up to the reality of what had happened,” one man said.
“I also know I was going to get asked questions that would make the night a reality – and that would haunt me.”
Sinaga’s “cold, calculated” actions left his victims in “deep distress”, his rapes causing “lasting psychological damage”.
“It is clear that each of them has suffered greatly as a result of discovering what you had done to them. Some have their careers and academic studies seriously, adversely affected,” the judge said.
His victims have become “seriously depressed”, finding it impossible to tell their families or close friends what they had been through – one of them has thought about killing himself.
“I have never been in such a bad place in my life and I didn’t know how to get out of it,” the man said.
“I was diagnosed with severe depression and put on anti-depressants, and I (have) also started counselling.”
"(Sinaga) has taken a part of me that I will never get back. He deserves the largest sentence possible.”
To the outside world Sinaga was a church-going and quiet PhD student, but the "monster" – as described by one of his victims – had managed to hide his crimes for more than two years.
“ROT IN HELL”
Police have called for more people who think they might have been victims to come forward, and some already have since the case came to light.
His victims had to undergo tests for sexually-transmitted diseases, many anxiously awaiting the results.
Those who came forward were praised for their bravery even as Sinaga's actions scarred them for a long time.
One of the men said: “I felt numb. I was totally shocked, embarrassed, betrayed and very angry.
“His actions were disgusting, unforgivable. He has massively abused my trust in humanity.”
The judge called Sinaga a “highly dangerous, cunning and deceitful individual”, adding that he will “never be safe” to be released. Sinaga will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
One of his victims said: "I hope he never comes out of prison and he rots in hell.”