Indonesia's Ancient Sinaga Clan Distances Itself From 'Britain's Worst Rapist'
Jakarta. The name Reynhard Tambos Maruli Tua Sinaga, or Reynhard Sinaga, has been in the headlines since Monday, once the media ban on his two-year trial for raping dozens of young men in Manchester was lifted. Reynhard was jailed for a minimum of 30 years for 136 rapes.
Born in Jambi on Indonesia's Sumatra Island, Reynhard has been living in the United Kingdom since 2007 to pursue a master's degree and a PhD after completing his undergraduate degree in architecture from the prestigious University of Indonesia just outside Jakarta.
The 36-year-old was found guilty by a Manchester court for 159 sex offences and raping 48 young men in the city, in England's north west, from 2015 to 2017. He had four separate trials from 2017 until Monday, Jan.6.
Manchester Police suspected Reynhard had raped more than 48 men. They believed the number of his victims could be as high as 195. UK media described Reynhard as "the world’s worst rapist" and "the world's most prolific sex attacker." The BBC, quoting Judge Suzanne Goddard, called him an "evil sexual predator."
Reynhard, who grew up in Depok, south of Jakarta, was sentenced to multiple life imprisonments.
Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said the judge at the Manchester court sentenced Reynhard to a minimum of 30 years in prison during the last trial on Monday.
"Legal assistance was provided by the Indonesian Embassy in London to ensure R.S. [Reynhard Sinaga] had legal representation during his trials. We also made consular visits and helped him to communicate and meet with his family and his attorney when he was in detention," Yudha Nugraha, the director of citizen protection and legal aid at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said on Monday.
Reynhard is what Indonesians call him, but in Western media he is more frequently called by his family name Sinaga, one of the oldest clans among the Batak tribe of North Sumatra.
The Sinaga Clan
The clan's name Sinaga literally means "dragon" in Bahasa Indonesia. According to legend, the clan's ancestor was the first son of a king, Si Raja Lotung, who married his mother Boru Pareme on the Lake Toba island of Samosir.
Boru Pareme's only daughter Nai Lontungan married her own brother, Saribu Raja. The siblings were the grandchildren of Guru Tatea Bulan, a Batak king who was married to a heavenly princess.
The clan is believed to have existed for at least 600 years. Batak clans keep very accurate family trees so they can always trace their family connections.
As one of the oldest clans among the Batak tribe, many Sinagas are prominent individuals in Indonesia, among them athletes, politicians, lawyers, government officials and scientists.
Reynhard's crimes had brought shame to the clan, with some of them expressing their anger on social media, especially Twitter.
"As someone who has [the] same family name (in Batak culture, he could be my bro[ther], uncle, or grandad depending on his no [number] in gen[erational] line). I’m very ashamed!," Hariati Sinaga, a researcher on labor issues, tweeted on Tuesday.
As someone who has same family name (in Batak culture, he could be my bro, uncle, or grandad depending on his no in gen line), l‘m very ashamed! https://t.co/vwGIvxYHJR— Dr. Hariati Sinaga ᯅᯖᯂ᯲ ᯖᯬᯅ (@BuruhSiluman) January 6, 2020
"I will not deny that he is my clan, but what he did is unacceptable. May he [be] tortured to death in jail," tweeted Candi Sinaga, the secretary general of the association of cable television operators.
I will not deny that he is my clan, but what he did is unacceptable. May he tortured to death in jail!— Candi Sinaga (@candisinaga) January 6, 2020
"Damn, shame for the whole Sinaga clan," Rico Sinaga tweeted.
Bangsat emang bikin malu Sinaga satu clan anjir— indomaret (@Ricodeh) January 6, 2020