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Thirty-six-year-old Reynhard Sinaga earned a degree in architecture at the University of Indonesia, before moving to the United Kingdom in 2007 where he earned a master’s degree in Sociology. He went to St Chrysostom’s church located in Manchester, England and assisted in events such as a children’s Easter project. He came from a wealthy family, and his successful businessman father helped him pursue his education in the UK. Friends described him as sweet and happy, and Sinaga was pursing his post doctorate degree while living in a flat located in a hub of Manchester’s nightlife. With a thin build, height of 5’7”, and welcoming smile, Sinaga wouldn’t strike anyone as a threat. Perhaps that is what concealed his identity as a sadistic predator for years.
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In June of 2017, an 18-year-old man went to a popular nightclub called The Factory with some friends. Around midnight the young man stepped outside to get some fresh air after being separated from his friends. While outside, he met Sinaga. Sinaga kindly offered for him to come up to his flat and try to call his friends from there. He went inside, and it all went black.
Hours later, the young man awoke to find himself being sexually assaulted by Sinaga. Panicked, he pushed Sinaga away. Sinaga started biting him and yelling, and the teen fought back, hitting Sinaga, snatching Sinaga’s phone, and escaping the flat. He called police, but when they arrived at the scene and saw unassuming Sinaga battered, they arrested the 18-year-old for assault.
Upon questioning Sinaga, the police saw his behavior was not of someone who had just been attacked. All he wanted was his iPhone 4, making officers suspicious. When the phone was seized as potential evidence, police were hardly prepared for the evil that was contained in that phone.
Stored in Sinaga’s phone were graphic videos of him raping unconscious men in his Manchester flat. According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), there were 3.29 terabytes of this horrifying material, equal to 250 DVDs or 300,000 photos. One of the assaults recorded lasted 8 hours. And the men being filmed had no idea this was happening to them.
Sinaga’s flat was located in just the right spot to often encounter young, intoxicated people leaving the clubs and pubs in the area. When he came across a young man who was drunk and alone, he would offer them to come up to his place to either wait for a taxi, have a few more drinks, or sleep there for the night. His victims surely assumed he was a kind stranger, coming to their aid when they were alone and drunk. One victim was waiting outside Fifth Avenue nightclub for his girlfriend when Sinaga asked him if he would like to come inside to wait for her. Sinaga invited another victim inside to charge his phone so he could order a car to get home. Sinaga was friendly and non-threatening; his victims didn’t suspect any nefarious motives.
Once inside, Sinaga would offer his victims a drink laced with Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB). GHB comes in a liquid or white powder form, and when dissolved in liquid is clear, colorless, and nearly tasteless besides a slight salty taste. GHB causes drowsiness, confusion, unconsciousness, slowed heart rate, vomiting and nausea, and amnesia. It is known as a “date-rape” drug that makes victims vulnerable to sexual assault and erases their memories.
Some users choose to take GHB because they believe it builds muscle and causes weight loss, along with increasing libido. Some common street names include Easy Lay, Goop, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid Ecstasy, and Scoop. When consumed, GHB takes effect in about 15 minutes and usually lasts 3 to 6 hours. Too much of the drug can result in overdose and death.
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, 1 gram or less of GHB provides relaxation, similar to alcohol intoxication. Two to 4 grams is when speech and motor skills begin to be interfered with, and over 4 grams can make users confused, agitated, lose consciousness, vomit, and have urinary and fecal incontinence. In some of Sinaga’s sick videos, you could see Sinaga pushing his victims back to the floor if they started to regain consciousness. In others, victims were vomiting and even woke up naked with their own vomit around them. Sinaga attempted to pass the rapes off as consensual hookups and texted a friend about his “hookups”, saying: “Take a sip of my secret poison, I’ll make you fall in love.”
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Reynhard Sinaga attempted to plead not guilty and say that his victims were role playing, but the evidence was insurmountable, and he was found guilty of 159 offenses, including 136 unprotected anal rapes, across 4 trials. Sinaga has received life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years. Police were able to identity victims based on the videos and some “trophies” that Sinaga had stolen from them, including phones and wallets. Councilor Nigel Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said “We pay tribute to the courage of those who have testified in these cases and the painstaking work of Greater Manchester Police in bringing this monster to justice. Support is available for anyone who is affected by the issues raised in this case.” Greater Manchester Police urge people to contact them if they think they might have been a victim of Sinaga.
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