The Jakarta Post
The case of Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian student convicted of over 130 rapes in the United Kingdom, has shocked the Batak community in Indonesia.
Described by prosecutors as the UK’s most prolific rapist, Reynhard was born in Jambi but his last name Sinaga is a marga or clan name of the Batak people of North Sumatra.
Lamsiang Sitompul, the chairman of the Horas Bangso Batak community, said that Reynhard’s actions had hurt and shamed the Batak community and that his crimes made it seem like the Batak people were sexual deviants.
“That is not true, and honestly we are very ashamed of Reynhard Sinaga’s actions. His actions do not reflect the behavior of Batak people,” Lamsiang told The Jakarta Post in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.
Reynhard, 36, first moved to the UK as a student in 2007, obtaining his master’s degree in sociology from Manchester University, as reported by The Guardian.
In August 2012, he started to pursue a PhD in human geography at Leeds University, but did not finish before his arrest in 2017.
The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) 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 moving to Britain as a student, AFP reports.
Lamsiang said that news of Reynhard’s conviction had spread among the Batak community in Indonesia and people related to him felt shame and embarrassment.
“We are all shocked and in disbelief that Reynhard would do that, since he is an educated person,” he said, adding that the community was nevertheless confident that the legal process in the UK was fair and just. “We leave [the case] to the legal process in the UK. We believe that everything will go on fairly.” (kmt)