Most people wouldn’t wish rape on their worst enemy. It’s one of the most dehumanising ways of harming someone. Not only does it leave physical scars, it often leaves lasting mental ones as well. The worst part? These rapists walk among us.
No one would have suspected 36-year-old Reynhard Sinaga of being a rapist. With his decent looks and friendly demeanour, the Indonesian had many fooled. However, he is going down in history as the most prolific rapist in British judicial history.
According to the police, Reynhard has attacked over 200 men for more than a decade. However, he was only charged for the raping of 48 men which happened between January 2015 and May 2017. He was convicted of 136 rapes, eight attempted rapes, 13 sexual assaults and two assaults by penetration. The Indonesian is serving a 40-year prison sentence, but the judge who presided his case deems him unsafe to be released. She described him as a “highly dangerous, cunning and deceitful individual”.
Reynhard went to the UK to study in 2007. He continued his studies there and by 2017, he was studying for a doctorate in human geography at the University of Leeds. Most knew him as a chatty, Christian, churchgoing student. However, this was only a cover for his obsession with rape. His father has bluntly agreed with his punishment, stating it “fit the crime“. His mother, however, still believed he was a good Christian boy.
While he was studying there, Reynhard would target lone men from his flat on Princess Street. The area is known for its nightclubs, which meant a lot of these men were intoxicated. Reynhard would approach these men and lure them back to his apartment. There, he would drug them, then assault and rape them while they were unconscious. He also had a habit of recording the attacks and collecting their belongings as “trophies”.
In July 2017, Reynhard was finally arrested when his victim woke up mid-assault. The teen was horrified to find Reynhard lying on him. He managed to fight back and left the 36-year-old injured on the bathroom floor. As he ran, he took Reynhard’s iPhone which would later be monumental to the case. The teen was arrested for injuring Reynhard while he was sent to the hospital for treatment. Upon waking, the Indonesian urgently asked for his phone. Police found another iPhone under his bed which, when he finally unlocked it, showed a video of Reynhard attacking the teen.
The one video sparked a whole new investigation into Reynhard’s activities. Both phones had photographic evidence of Reynhard assaulting other men. More evidence was found in his student flat; driving licenses, student ID cards, watches and a wallet, which he had taken as “trophies”. Police estimated Reynhard had assaulted over 200 men. Most of his victims hadn’t even been aware they had been raped as he had assaulted them when they were unconscious.
The detectives investigating the case had to identify the victims, find them and explain that they believed these men were targeted by Reynhard. Their journey took them across the country and overseas. “They just went very quiet and you (could) see the colour drain from their face. Just an “oh my God” look on their face,” one detective stated. “And I knew (that by) giving them that information, I’ve just ruined this person’s life and you could see it.”
However, to one victim, Daniel, it came as a relief. “There’s a bit of relief because you finally know what happened,” he said. “Finally, you can make sense of it. But (it’s) probably not the relief you want.” According to Daniel, he had been targeted when he separated from his boyfriend and friends to use the toilet. The next thing he remembered was waking up on a sofa feeling hungover. He didn’t know where he was or who he was with. He ran the second he was sure he was alone.
“I couldn’t explain where I’d been,” Daniel said. He did identify feeling drugged, but he wasn’t sure. As a result, he never reported it to the police. He only discovered the truth when the police showed him photographs of the attack two years later. “It is just horrible to see yourself that vulnerable in photographs that someone else has taken,” he stated. “You can see I am comatose… I look dead.”
Daniel is thankfully coping well with the aftermath, thanks to the support from his dad. He opted to speak up about Reynhard in hopes of encouraging other rape and sexual assault survivors to seek help and break their silence. The police stated that the total number of his victims is 206, but roughly 60 of them have yet to be identified.
155 men contacted the Greater Manchester Police when details of Reynhard’s crimes was reported. Detectives identified 23 of them as victims and all of them have decided not to pursue prosecution. They are satisfied with the convictions and sentence already given.
P/s: Here are 5 facts about him.