Two Swedish graduate students have been praised as heroes after they stopped Brock Turner while he was raping an unconscious and intoxicated 22-year-old woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus.
Turner, 20, was convicted of three felony sexual assault charges in March and was sentenced to six months in jail last week, a term that has been widely decried as too lenient.
Prosecutors say the two students, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, were riding their bicycles when they saw Turner sexually assaulting the woman in January 2015. They called out to him to stop and then chased him down when he ran away, holding him until police arrived to arrest him. Ardnt and Jonsson did not know Turner or the victim.
“I can’t understate how important those two heroes were in this case,” Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci, who prosecuted the case, told the Huffington Post.
Here’s what you need to know about Arndt and Jonsson:
1. The Victim Says She Keeps a Drawing of 2 Bicycles Over Her Bed to ‘Remind Myself There Are Heroes in This Story’
In her powerful statement that she read at sentencing, the victim praised Carl-Fredik Arndt and Peter Jonsson for saving her.
“Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet,” she said. “I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.”
The woman, now 23, said she is terrified by the thought of how the night could have ended if the students hadn’t come to her aid. She said she woke up several hours after the assault with no memory of what happened.
“I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the Swedes had never come,” the woman said. “What would have happened to me? That’s what you’ll never have a good answer for, that’s what you can’t explain even after a year.”
You can read her full statement at the link below:
2. Ardnt Says the Woman Was Unconscious & Not Moving When He Checked on Her While Jonsson Chased Turner
Carl-Fredrik Arndt spoke out about the incident in an interview with CBS News.
“She was unconscious, the entire time,” Arndt told CBS News. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all.”
Arndt and Jonsson told police they saw Turner on top of the victim “aggressively thrusting his hips into her,” according to court documents.
Arndt told the Swedish newspaper Expressen that they asked Turner, “what the hell are you doing?”
“The guy stood up, then we saw she wasn’t moving still, so we called him out on it,” Arndt told CBS News. “And the guy ran away, and my friend Peter chased after him.”
Turner said he ran because he was scared, according to the victim’s statement:
You ran because you said you felt scared. I argue that you were scared because you’d be caught, not because you were scared of two terrifying Swedish grad students. The idea that you thought you were being attacked out of the blue was ludicrous. That it had nothing to do with you being on top my unconscious body. You were caught red handed, with no explanation. When they tackled you why didn’t say, ‘Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.’ I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen. Also, if you really did think they were dangerous, you just abandoned a half-naked girl to run and save yourself. No matter which way you frame it, it doesn’t make sense.
Jonsson has not spoken publicly about the incident or the sentence Turner received. But he posted a link to the victim’s statement on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
3. Arndt Was Studying Computational & Mathematical Engineering at Stanford
Arndt was pursuing his Ph.D. in computational and mathematical engineering at Stanford University at the time of the incident, according to his Linkedin page. He began studying at Stanford in 2011 and was set to complete his studies this year.
He earned his undergraduate degree in economics at Linköping University in Sweden. He has worked as a quanititative research summer associate at J.P. Morgan in New York, and has also interneted as a researcher at RGM Advisors, LLC and at Thomson Reuters.
Arndt also worked as a teaching assistant at Stanford for two years.
Arndt told the Swedish newspaper Expressen that he hasn’t met the victim, but he read her letter after it was published online and thought it was very strong. He said in Swedish that it was a great joy to be able to help here.
4. Jonsson Was Getting a Master’s Degree in Management Science & Engineering
Jonsson was getting a master’s degree in management science and engineering at Stanford University at the time of the incident, according to his Linkedin page.
He began studying at the California university in 2014 and was scheduled to graduate this year.
He previously studied at the University of Gotenburg and the Chalmers University of Technology.
“Thanks to everyone, friends and strangers, for all the encouragement and support over the last days and months. At this point I will not publicly comment on the process or the outcome of the trial,” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “However, I do ask all of you to spare a few minutes and read this letter written by the Victim. To me it is unique in its form and comes as close as you can possibly get to putting words on an experience that words cannot describe.”
5. Turner Is Expected to be Released After Serving Just 3 Months of His 6-Month Sentence
Turner was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail’s Elmwood Correctional Facility on June 2, 2016, the same day he was sentenced by Judge Aaron Persky. Despite receiving a six-month sentence, Turner is expected to only serve three months and is scheduled for release on September 2, according to the jail’s online records.
He was found guilty of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person, the Santa Clara District Attorney says.
Persky, the judge in the case, is now facing calls for him to resign and a movement to have him recalled from office if he does not step down. He is up for re-election this year, but is so far running unopposed. Read more about the judge at the link below: