Meet the Two Students Who Stopped the Stanford Sexual Assault

June 7th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Two Swedish graduate students were brave enough to stop Brock Turner from leaving the scene of a now infamous rape at Stanford University. Carl-Frekrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson came across Turner moving over the victim behind a dumpster, and they realized that something wasn't right, according to BuzzFeed. When they came closer, they knew for sure that something was wrong.

“When he got up we saw that she still wasn’t moving at all, so we walked up and asked something like, ‘What are you doing?'" Arndt explained to Swedish media publication Expressen on Tuesday.

Carl-Fredrik Arndt

Turner tried to run but Jonsson tackled him.

Arndt told Expressen that he thought the victim might be dead. “She lay perfectly still,” he said.

Peter Jonsson

The victim called Jonsson and Arndt her heroes in the powerful letter she read to Turner in court.

"Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet," she wrote. "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."

But without Arndt and Jonsson's intervention would we believe the victim at all?

Jonsson and Arndt were witnesses to what happened to the unconscious victim, and they were a critical part of convicting Turner.

“I can’t understate how important those two heroes were in this case,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci to the Huffington Post.

Although many people are outraged over the lenient six month sentence Turner received, without these two Swedish students, Turner could have avoided conviction or not been charged at all.

“Those two heroes made this case a prosecutable one," Kianerci told the Huffington Post.

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network says that out of 1000 rapes less than 30 percent are reported to police and less than 2 percent result the rapist being incarcerated.

The Vast Majority of Perpetrators Will Not Go to Jail or Prison

The victim alluded to what could have happened to her, had she not been found, in her letter. She sarcastically calls the Swedish men "evil," referring to accusations Turner made against them. Turner claims they needlessly tackled him:

"I want to know, if those evil Swedes had not found me, how the night would have played out. I am asking you; Would you have pulled my underwear back on over my boots? Untangled the necklace wrapped around my neck? Closed my legs, covered me? Pick the pine needles from my hair? Asked if the abrasions on my neck and bottom hurt? Would you then go find a friend and say, Will you help me get her somewhere warm and soft? I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the two guys had never come."

Even with the two witnesses, Turner tried to discredit her, according to the victim's letter.

"On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration. The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before or after I came?"

She also described the way Turner's defense attorney tried to discredit her.

"I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now."

Sexual assault victims often feel like they are the ones on trial during sexual assault investigations and court proceedings, and that's why many victims don't report sexual assault at all. The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault lists the reasons women don't report sexual assault, and several are related to the idea that people won't believe them. Here are three:

  • The victim thinks that the police could not or would not do anything to help.
  • The victim thinks that there isn't enough proof.
  • The victim is afraid of the justice system.

It seems that Jonsson wants people to understand the tragic and difficult experience of being a sexual assault victim. ATTN: reached out to Jonsson and he told us that he does not want to speak publicly about what happened at this point. However, he made a post on his Facebook page Tuesday encouraging people to read the victims letter.

"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," wrote Jonsson

RELATED: The Stanford Victim Reads Incredible Letter to the Man Who Sexually Assaulted Her