Police have linked Reynhard Sinaga to more than 190 potential victims in total – 70 of whom they have not yet been able to identify
The mother of prolific rapist Reynhard Sinaga has said she desperately urged him to return to his devout Christian family in Indonesia.
Sinaga, 36, is believed to have attacked at least 195 men and was convicted of drugging 48 of them and filming himself sexually violating them while they were unconscious in his Manchester flat.
The gay Christian student was jailed for 60 years and must serve a minimum of 30 years in custody before he can be considered for parole.
Sinaga’s mother, Normawati, from Depok, a city within the Jakarta metropolitan area in Indonesia, still struggles to believe her son was capable of such evil crimes, in an interview with The Sunday Times.
‘We are a good Christian family who do not believe in homosexuality. He is my baby,’ she said.
Sinaga’s mother, Normawati (left), from Depok, a city within the Jakarta metropolitan area in Indonesia, still struggles to believe her son, Reynhard Sinaga, was capable of such evil crimes. Also pictured is his father, Saibun
Normawati told how her son, a former Leeds University postgraduate student and eldest of four, was a ‘gentle boy’ who had a passion for reading.
She described how her son had a privileged upbringing, funded by the family’s company of palm oil plantation and refinery, and would accompany her to church every Sunday morning.
‘He didn’t really go out much. He was more interested in studying,’ she said.
Normawati revealed how her son could play the piano ‘pretty well’ and added: ‘He was a quiet boy. He didn’t really enjoy performing in the church. But I made him do it.’
Sinaga hunted for drunk young men around nightclubs near his flat in Manchester (above)
Sinaga arrived in the UK on a student visa in 2007 financed by his parents and remained in the country on those terms for the next 10 years.
He chose to live close to the gay village and the Canal Street area of Manchester where attitudes to homosexuality were very different than in his home nation of Indonesia.
Sinaga is said to have had a small, close-knit group of friends who believed him to be friendly and good-natured.
He graduated from the University of Manchester in 2009 with an MSc degree in Planning and again in 2011 with an MA degree in Sociology.
No concerns of a sexual nature, or of any other matters, were ever raised with the university, confirmed officials.
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
From 2012 he commuted monthly to the University of Leeds as part of his studies for a PhD.
Sinaga attended regular supervision meetings to help with his thesis entitled ‘Sexuality and everyday transnationalism. South Asian gay and bisexual men in Manchester’.
His mother repeatedly begged her son to return home to help run the family business because her husband was growing old.
Yet Sinaga, who aimed of becoming a lecturer, refused his mother’s pleas and said he ‘felt comfortable living in Manchester’.
Despite Sinaga not saying so, one factor is likely to have been Indonesia’s attitude to homosexuality.
In 2014 the northern province of Aceh passed a law to punish anyone having gay sex with 100 lashes.
The university said he did not appear to spend much time in the city, other than for the monthly supervision sessions, and did not take an active part in research groups or societies.
Her son was finally caught in June 2017 when an 18-year-old victim, who he had met outside Factory nightclub, had regained consciousness during his attack.
A large part of Sinaga’s offending took place in the bedroom but some did take place in the living room. The final victim was raped in the bathroom before he woke up during the ordeal
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
The six-foot tall, 13-stone teenager, told the court how he woke up with his trousers around his ankles with Sinaga molesting him.
He battered the rapist, beating him so badly he suffered a bleed on the brain and had to be taken to hospital.
Initially the victim was mistakenly arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, but Sinaga left an iPhone 4 in his back pocket which contained sickening videos of him raping drugged men.
Greater Manchester Police called Normawati to tell her that her son had been arrested for a ‘serious crime’ and was in hospital.
Upon visiting her son in hospital she described seeing bruises covering his face, neck and parts of his body.
Normawati expressed her anger at the time of seeing her son in such a state despite an Indonesian diplomat telling her that Sinaga was accused of rape.
‘Imagine a small Indonesian man being beaten up by a big, tall westerner,’ she said. ‘I wondered if the other person had made up the story.’
She said her son was ‘not the type of boy’ who liked to fight and was never involved in fights as a child.