Brock Turner received an excruciatingly light sentence after raping an innocent women behind a dumpster at a Stanford University party—but it's likely he wouldn't have been caught at all if two Swedish doctoral students, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, hadn't been biking by and stopped to catch him.
We have read the harrowing letter written by the victim, as well as the nauseating excuses from Brock, his father, and his friends, but it was the testimony from these PhD students that was crucial in securing Turner's three felony convictions. For the first time since the trial, they have addressed the events publicly in the Swedish paper Expressen.
As they tell it, on the night of January 17th, the two had been riding to a Stanford party on their bicycles when they saw Brock and the victim laying on the ground behind a dumpster and recognized that something was deeply wrong.
"We see that she does not move, while he was moving very much. So we stop and think this seems very strange," says Carl-Fredrik.
"Peter goes back and asks what he's doing and I follow. When [Brock Turner] gets up, we see that she still is not moving in the slightest, so we go back and ask something like, 'what the hell are you doing?'" Carl-Fredrik continues
They explain that Brock immediately took off and began to run. In a moment of quick thinking, Peter ran after Brock and tackled him about 100 feet away, while Carl-Fredrik stayed with the victim.
"Peter managed to catch him, then we held him down until police arrived," Arndt explains.
As the victim points out in her letter, this was the clear moment of guilt. She wrote,
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.
While Peter suspended Brock until the police came, Carl-Frederik says he leaned over the woman who "was still alive, but remained perfectly still."
We know from the victims own recollection of her assault that what Carl-Frederik and Peter saw was worse than stillness. As she wrote,
I was found unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognize.
That's what they saw.
They didn't have to stop and investigate, but they did. They didn't have to risk themselves chasing after a predator, or involve themselves in what became a horrendous legal battle. And while the world is angry that Brock will not be punished correctly because Judge Aaron Persky failed to sentence him appropriately (which is why you can sign here to petition to remove him from bench), we can be thankful to these two men that any justice was served at all.
It's something to take comfort in, and something the victim takes comfort in as well. As she wrote in her letter, "there are heroes in this story."
Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story.