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These Two Heroes Stopped The Stanford Sexual Assault

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Photo: Jason O. Watson / Alamy Stock Photo.
The two Swedish graduate students who stepped in to save the victim in the Stanford rape case have broken their silence, reminding us that even in the most horrifying of stories, there can be heroes.

In statements to Swedish news outlet Expressen, which were translated by BuzzFeed, Stanford University graduate students Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson shared their account of stopping the assault of the unconscious woman in January 2015.

The two friends said they were biking to a party when they saw what appeared to be a man and a woman lying on the ground behind a Dumpster. “We saw that she was not moving, while he was moving a lot,” Arndt said, as translated from Swedish. He said that as they got closer, they saw she wasn’t moving at all. “We walked up and asked something like, ‘What are you doing?’”

When they interrupted the assault, the man got up and ran. Jonsson chased him down, and the pair held him until police arrived.

Brock Turner, 20, was convicted of three counts of felony sexual assault, and in June was sentenced to six months in jail out of a possible 14 years. The light sentence made national news, and sentencing judge Aaron Persky was criticised for the lenient punishment. On Saturday, a Change.org petition calling for Judge Persky's removal had over 300,000 signatures.

In a powerful letter about her assault that the victim shared with BuzzFeed, she said that Arndt and Jonsson’s actions reminded her that “there are heroes in this story.”

“Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet,” she wrote, adding that she slept with a drawing of two bicycles over her bed to remind herself that she had protectors. “We are looking out for one another,” she wrote.

In Expressen, Arndt said that he had not met the victim, but he had read the emotional letter. “Obviously, it is a great joy to be able to help her,” he said.

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