Father of rapist says punishment fits his crimes

Reynhard Sinaga's case has shocked many in his home country of Indonesia, and many have condemned his abuses as evil and depraved. PHOTO: SINAGA/INSTAGRAM
Reynhard Sinaga's case has shocked many in his home country of Indonesia, and many have condemned his abuses as evil and depraved. PHOTO: SINAGA/INSTAGRAM

Indonesian jailed for life in Britain over 159 offences including rape

JAKARTA • The father of Reynhard Sinaga, the Indonesian man named as Britain's worst rapist and who was jailed for life by a court in the UK earlier this week, said his son's punishment "fits his crimes".

"We accept the verdict. His punishment fits his crimes. I don't want to discuss the case any further," Mr Saibun Sinaga told BBC Indonesia.

The 36-year-old Sinaga was sentenced on Monday after he was found guilty of 159 offences, including 136 rapes and eight attempted rapes, committed over a period of more than 2½ years. He must serve a minimum of 30 years in jail.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service has called him "the worst known sex offender in the country's history" for the assault or rape of at least 195 men and for attacking "scores more" since he moved to the United Kingdom as a student in 2007, Agence France-Presse reported.

Sinaga is believed to have used different ruses - offering a place to wait for friends or to charge a mobile phone - to lure his victims to his apartment. Most of them were in their late teens or early 20s, and had been out drinking before he approached them in the streets.

Many of his victims recalled that he gave them a drink - which he once described in a WhatsApp group of friends as "secret poison" - when they went to his flat. He raped them after they passed out, filming the abuses on his two mobile phones.

Police believe Sinaga, who was arrested on June 2, 2017, would have carried on with the abuse had one victim not woken up during an attack and called 999.

The BBC reported that Sinaga's mother was the only family member who attended one of his pre-trial hearings. She also wrote a character witness statement, which was presented to the court as part of his defence.

The case has shocked many in Sinaga's home country of Indonesia, where homosexuality is still taboo. Many condemned the abuses as evil and depraved.

The University of Indonesia, which confirmed that Sinaga is an alumnus, condemned his acts as "insolent, illegal and inhumane" and expressed its sympathy for the victims of his assaults.

According to The Jakarta Post, Reynhard was born in Jambi province, but his last name Sinaga is a marga or clan name of the Batak people of North Sumatra.

 
 

Mr Lamsiang Sitompul, the chairman of the Horas Bangso Batak community, said Sinaga's actions had shamed the community. "We are all shocked and in disbelief that Reynhard would do that since he is an educated person," he said.

Sinaga's first trial began in mid-2018. The last ended in December. None could be reported until curbs imposed to avoid prejudicing juries were lifted on Monday.

Although Sinaga was born in Jambi, he spent time in Depok on the outskirts of Jakarta.

He moved to Britain in 2007 to do a master's degree in sociology and later pursued a PhD at Leeds University. Media reports said he was the eldest of four siblings who hailed from a wealthy Catholic family.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2020, with the headline 'Father of rapist says punishment fits his crimes'. Print Edition | Subscribe