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Grad students who pinned down Stanford sex offender speak out

  • SANTA CLARA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE VIA AP

    This January 2015 booking photo released by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office shows Brock Turner. The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced last week to six months in jail and three years probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Two graduate students who said they witnessed Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner sexually assaulting a woman on campus have spoken out this week amid outrage over the Ohio native’s six-month jail sentence.

Swedish doctoral students Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson — key witnesses in the case — were riding their bicycles through campus in January 2015 when they saw Turner on top of a woman on the ground behind a dumpster, Arndt told the Swedish news outlet Expressen on Tuesday.

They quickly could tell something was wrong, Arndt said. The woman was not moving, but Turner was “aggressively thrusting his hips into her,” the graduate students told authorities.

“She was unconscious, the entire time,” Arndt told CBS News. “I checked her and she didn’t move at all.”

The graduate students asked Turner what he was doing, but he began running, Arndt said.

“The guy stood up, then we saw she wasn’t moving still,” Arndt said. “So we called him out on it. And the guy ran away. My friend Peter chased after him.”

Jonsson ran after Turner and stopped him, and the two men restrained him, called the police and held the undergraduate down until police arrived, Arndt told Expressen.

The graduate students did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Los Angeles Times.

Jonsson wrote on Facebook on Tuesday that he would not publicly comment on the trial or its outcome but thanked “everyone, friends and strangers, for all the encouragement and support over the last days and months.”

A jury in March convicted Turner on three felony counts: assault with the intent to commit rape of an unconscious person; sexual penetration of an unconscious person; and sexual penetration of an intoxicated person.

Turner faced a maximum penalty of 14 years in state prison, and prosecutors asked a judge to sentence him to a six-year prison term.

Last week, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months in county jail and three years of probation, stating that a harsher penalty would have a “severe impact” on 20-year-old Turner. The judge’s decision has sparked outrage and a campaign to oust Persky from the bench.

In court, the unidentified victim read a 12-page, single-spaced letter that went viral after she gave it to the media. She said she was re-victimized during the trial by Turner’s claim that she had consented.

“I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted,” she wrote. “And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me.”

The woman called Turner’s sentence “a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of the assaults.”

Turner’s father said in a letter to the judge that his son should not pay such “a steep price … for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” The father’s choice of words was met with harsh criticism, and he later issued a statement that his comments were misinterpreted.

Despite criticism of the sentence, any effort to unseat the judge will be extremely difficult, legal experts said.

Some legal experts said the sentence was unusually light.

“It is very unusual to have six months and probation in a case like this. The assault with intent to commit rape usually carries a prison sentence,” said Dmitry Gorin, a former L.A. County sex crimes prosecutor. “His background and no (criminal) record were a major factor. I cannot think of a similar local case where a defendant convicted by a jury of such a violent crime avoided prison.”

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©2016 Los Angeles Times

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  • Why does this story keep changing? Previous stories said the guy was convicted of attempted rape and sexual assault. This story says he actually penetrated the woman which, of course, is rape. So which is it?

      • A coach patting a player on the butt and saying “Go get em” is now sexual assault. Do you believe coaches who do that should serve time behind bars?

        • California Penal Code Section 243.4 contains five definitions (or degrees) of sexual assault. Nowhere is your example defined as sexual assault. Your point is moot anyway – in this case the perp didn’t just pat the victim on the butt did he?

  • Let’s review: California (liberal state); San Jose/Santa Clara (liberal cities); Stanford (liberal school); Aaron Persky (liberal judge) = Liberal War on Women.

    • Letting white criminals from affluent backgrounds get off with easy sentences while the book get’s thrown at black and other minority criminals for far less crimes suddenly has become a liberal issue now?

      • The rapist’s “background” made the difference in sentencing. He is a rich white boy, and Stanford student. If he was poor and black, he would have gotten 10 years in prison.

      • Whoa now!

        Hold on!

        Minority boys are massacring other minority boys in a frenzy of urban blood letting that is totally ignored by our ‘news’ media. Not only do the killers not serve time, most of them are never even apprehended.

        And why do the media ignore this non stop black on black blood bath? Could it be because of the lily white nature of the editorial staff community who call the shots? Clearly to these privileged white good old media boys, the so called “Black Lives Matter” agenda is a sick joke. No doubt they guffaw about it behind carefully closed doors in the executive suite. To these white privileged elite, black lives don’t mean [scatological term redacted]

  • This thing is, this guy got caught this time, and usually there was a lot of other times when he didn’t get caught. Giving him a slap on the wrist sentence just sends the wrong message to the public that if you’re a white male attending a prestigious university, then stuff like this isn’t so serious. If those two guys didn’t catch this perp in the act, then he probably would have gotten away with it with no punishment at all like the many thousands of other cases that you don’t read about in the papers that had no witnesses.

  • Understand the judge got death threats for his incompetence. More appropriate would be to give him a dose of sleeping pills and put into a cell of loving companions at OCCC in one of those blanket hootches. Then the inmates can do unto him as was done to the girl. Same thing should be done with the rich ex-Stanford jock who is obviously suffering from that rich kid malady that the other gullible judge accepted as legit. What was that disease? Ah, yes, affluenza.

  • Lucky the two Grad students helped, who knows what Turner may have done to her, would not put it past him to perform murder after the he got scared. I am sure Turner will be in the news again in the next few years performing similar crimes, as most criminals like him have a history of doing.

  • The judge apparently has considered the possibility that a level of implied consent was there. So six months is right to me. I have little sympathy toward that girl who chose to get drunk at another school’s party knowing full well a drunk and sexed culture around. Did she give express consent or implied? Who knows? No one would say the magic word when drunk. But being drunk in that situation was part of it. Is she a responsible person or a pure victim? I think neither.

    • There’s no such thing as “implied consent.” Sex is either consensual or it’s rape and I don’t see how she could have conceded if she was unconscious. Apparently you (and a few others commenting) think alcohol is a mitigating factor – it’s not.

        • Consider this, if someone gets you drunk and then takes your wallet and you don’t say no because you’ve passed out, did you consent to that, or did you just get robbed?

          Now, replace wallet with virginity (simply for grammar and syntax) and robbed with raped.

          It seems clear to that taking things from people who are passed out who cannot give consent is theft. But some people have a problem applying that same logic with sexual assault.

  • Judging by the letter of support written by the perp’s father, I’d say the apple certainly did not fall far from the tree. This kid’s problem is obvious.

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