December 3, 2018 / 1:14 PM / 10 days ago

Swedish court adds second rape conviction for man in Nobel scandal

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish appeals court on Monday found Jean-Claude Arnault, the man at the center of a sex scandal that forced the postponement of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, guilty of an additional rape and increased his prison term.

FILE PHOTO: Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault arrives to the Svea Hovratt appeal court on the third day of his appeal trial in Stockholm, Sweden, November 14, 2018. Jonas Ekstromer/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

A lower court in October had convicted Arnault, who is married to Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson, of one rape but acquitted him of another. The lower court verdict was appealed by both the prosecutor and the defense.

The appeals court convicted him of both rapes of the woman in question in an unanimous decision and lengthened his prison sentence by six months to 2-1/2 years. Arnault had denied all charges.

“My client is very grateful and very relieved about the verdict from the Court of Appeals. This vindication also means that my client can finally move on with her life,” Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the woman’s lawyer, told TT news agency.

Arnault’s lawyer said the verdict would be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Arnault, a photographer and well-known cultural figure in Sweden, was accused of sexual misconduct by 18 women in a newspaper article in November last year. All but one of the women’s allegations were dropped due to a lack of evidence or because the statute of limitations had passed.

In an internal investigation initiated by the Academy he was also alleged to have leaked the closely-guarded names of Nobel prize winners on seven different occasions.

Arnault denied all charges, including that of being the source of leaks.

The accusations against him caused a feud among members of the academy, which picks winners for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and evolved into its biggest crisis since it was founded by King Gustav III more than 200 years ago.

The Nobel Foundation, which controls the prize money donated by Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, has warned it could drop the Swedish Academy from awarding the prestigious prize if it does not make further changes in response to the scandal.

Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson and Angus MacSwan/Mark Heinrich

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