Reynhard Sinaga’s reign of terror came to a sudden and violent end when his last known victim awoke from a drug-induced fog to discover he was being assaulted.
Semi-naked and in an unfamiliar flat, the teenager summoned all of his strength to push the Indonesian stranger off him and escape to call the police.
Just hours earlier, he had been enjoying a few drinks at the Factory nightclub in central Manchester but got separated from his friends and had stepped outside for some fresh air.
It was around 12.30am on June 2, 2017. The 18-year-old was perched on some steps just a stone’s throw from the club when he was approached by a slight Asian man in his early 30s.
The pair got chatting and after a few minutes, the man suggested he come home with him, to a block just opposite the club, and try to contact his friends from there.
CCTV footage showed the pair strolling along together and then making their way upstairs to Sinaga’s two-bedroomed flat.
The teenager recalls nothing else until waking up several hours later, face down on a bed. Video evidence showed that he had been snoring.
He jumped up in horror and immediately pushed Sinaga away. But as soon as his attacker realised he was conscious he began shouting “intruder” and “help”.
A vicious fight ensued in which Sinaga bit the teenager several times and was repeatedly punched in return.
Eventually, at 5.51am, the boy escaped and called the police.
Sinaga was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious on the floor with severe head injuries, including a suspected bleed on the brain.
The teenager was initially arrested and questioned on suspicion of assault but it soon became clear to officers that they were dealing with something much more serious.
Crucially, he handed detectives a white iPhone4 which he said he had found and was not his.
That phone would prove to be the undoing of Reynhard Sinaga, who officers quickly discovered had used it to film his brutal attacks.
The evidence it yielded, combined with reams of footage found on a second iPhone that was later found under Sinaga’s bed, was more than enough to secure a historic conviction over an unprecedented four criminal trials.
It soon emerged that the 18-year-old’s devastating experience followed an all-too familiar pattern that had almost become second nature to the predatory Sinaga.
Jurors who heard each case at Manchester Crown Court were forced to watch much of the horrifying footage.
But in doing so, they wasted little time in deliberating. Their verdicts came back quickly and were unanimous every time.
Sinaga was an extremely dangerous man who had committed, over a period of two-and-a-half years, the most prolific and depraved series of crimes ever to be heard in a British courtroom.
He preyed upon young men, most of them in their late teens or early 20s, who had gone into Manchester city centre for a night out with friends.
He targeted lone, drunk men who had become separated from their friends or were trying to make their way home alone and were disorientated and “extremely vulnerable”.
Having approached them on the street, he lured them to his flat with the promise of more drink and socialising, to charge their mobile phones or with the offer of a bed for the night if they could not get home.
“Because of your small stature and friendly approach, none felt in any way intimidated by you and none had any idea of the sexual encounter you clearly had in mind for them,” the judge, Mrs Justice Goddard QC, said.
“You drugged each of your victims, waited for them to become unconscious, undressed them and then raped them in the most callous of ways, repeatedly sexually assaulting most of them over a number of hours when they were unconscious.”
Sinaga used both iPhones to film the attacks and the judge noted the irony that had he not done so, most of his sadistic crimes would never have been discovered, let alone prosected.
The four trials involved 48 victims, 44 of whom were raped. But police have established that he filmed himself assaulting 195 victims, the vast majority of whom have not been identified and may be completely unaware of their involvement.
Unbeknownst to them, Sinaga took "trophies" from many of his victims, often screenshots of their Facebook profiles, their watches or ID.
When they woke up Sinaga would fabricate a story to explain how they got into his flat.
Most of his victims were heterosexual. None knew what had happened to them until the police knocked on their doors.
All have, understandably, been severely traumatised by the discovery. One is known to have attempted suicide and many have felt unable to tell even closest family and friends about the horrendous ordeal they unwittingly endured.
Many have not told their loved ones about their ordeals. Some who were approached by the police chose not to take part in the prosecutions.
Astonishingly, Sinaga claimed in court that every single rape took place with the consent of his victims, who had “agreed to play dead”.
Each of the four juries swiftly dismissed the ludicrous notion.
But by pleading not guilty to the vicious crimes, Sinaga forced his victims to endure the hell of having to give evidence in court and the humiliation of the videos being shown on screens before scores of lawyers, jurors and journalists.
For his part, Sinaga has shown “not a jot” of remorse. Justice Goddard noted that he had actually appeared to have “enjoyed” the trial process
Sinaga had moved to the UK from Indonesia in 2007 to study for an Msc in Planning at Manchester University.
He completed that in 2009 and went on to study for an MA in Sociology. After that, he successfully applied to do a PhD at Leeds University, which he never completed, commuting to the city from Manchester.
Sinaga’s lengthy period of offending began in January 2015. The first known victim was targeted on New Year’s Eve.
The 22-year-old, like hundreds of others was out celebrating in Manchester with his friends.
The group went to the Ritz nightclub on Whitworth St, where the man remembers ordering a drink at the bar.
After that, nothing.
The man woke up on the floor of Sinaga’s flat and was promptly sick. Sinaga told him he had approached him asking about a party and had followed him back to his flat.
Such was Sinaga’s faux concern that his victim, like many others, felt guilty for imposing himself on a stranger. He quickly gathered his belongings and went home. It was New Year’s Day and he was due to attend a family meal, the court heard.
Meanwhile, Sinaga, who had twice raped him whilst he was unconscious, gleefully texted a friend to boast about his crimes.
“I didn’t get my new year kiss, but I’ve had my first sex in 2015 already,” he wrote.
“I met him in the Factory next to my building. He was straight in 2014. 2015 is his breakthrough to the gay world hahaha. Well, he was straight until we woke up naked”.
The next known victim was raped just four weeks later, on January 30. The 21-year-old’s last memory is being in the Factory nightclub, just opposite Sinaga’s flat, at 1.30am.
The next thing he knew, he was waking up on the floor of the apartment. Utterly confused and likely feeling the effects of a heavy night’s excess, not to mention the drugs - believed to be GHB - administered by Sinaga, he swiftly left and went home.
This incident, whilst bearing the hallmarks of many other rapes that would take place over the next two years, was particularly shocking.
Video evidence recovered from Sinaga’s phone showed that during the course of the assault, the student victim began to regain consciousness and became distressed, making a feeble attempt to escape.
Sinaga used his own body weight to restrain him, holding him down. He claimed in court that the rape occurred with the full consent of his victim.
Sinaga continued this pattern. Targeting lone, usually drunk men outside nightclubs and persuading them to come back to his nearby flat.
All of his known victims were heterosexual bar three and the vast majority were raped “in the most callous of ways”.
There were often multiple attacks within days of each other. One victim had arrived at 4.30am and thought he had left shortly afterwards as he was bored. In fact, CCTV footage showed he did not leave until almost 10am.
Another contacted Sinaga later the following day to find out what had happened to him and was told he had been rescued after passing out on the pavement. Being a “good Samaritan,” Sinaga said he had taken him back to his flat for his own wellbeing.
One woke up on Sinaga’s floor and discovered he had wet himself. Sinaga became aggressive, yelling at him to get out. When he asked Sinaga for his phone, he threatened to “leather” or “bite” him if he did not leave. Police would recover his phone from the flat 18 months later.
Several remember drinking “whiskey or beer” at Sinaga’s flat but nothing more. All woke up in unfamiliar surroundings with absolutely no concept of how they got there and quickly left.
Justice Goddard said she was unaware of any other case of sexual offending of such magnitude.
The fear, as she pointed out, is that the true scale of his offending may never be known.
:: Anyone wishing to make a report to the police relating to Sinaga is asked to contact: 0800 092 0410 (calls made from within the UK) / 0207158 0124 (international calls).
Reports relating to Reyhard Sinaga can also be made online via the Major Incident Public Portal: https://mipp.police.uk/ operation/06GMP19V24-PO2