Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault at centre of Nobel Prize sex scandal to face trial in September

French cultural figure Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to a former member of the Swedish Academy which selects Nobel literature laureates, has been charged with raping a woman in Stockholm.

Published: 19th July 2018 12:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2018 12:39 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

STOCKHOLM: The man at the centre of a sexual assault scandal that shook the Nobel Literature Prize giving body, which postponed this year's award, will go on trial in September on rape charges, a Swedish court said. 

French cultural figure Jean-Claude Arnault, who is married to a former member of the Swedish Academy which selects Nobel literature laureates, has been charged with raping a woman in Stockholm on two occasions in 2011.

The Stockholm district court told AFP his hearings will take place on September 19, 20 and 24. 

According to the charge sheet, seen by AFP, the 71-year-old allegedly forced the victim -- who was in a state of "intense fear" -- to have oral sex and intercourse in a Stockholm apartment on October 5, 2011.

Arnault, who has denied the allegations, is also accused of raping her during the night of December 2-3 while she was asleep.

In November, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper published the testimonies of 18 women claiming to have been raped, sexually assaulted or harassed by Arnault, who has had long-standing close ties to the Swedish Academy.

Disagreements within the institution on how to deal with the scandal sowed deep discord among its 18 members and prompted six to quit -- including the first woman permanent secretary, Sara Danius.

In May, the Academy said it would not announce a Nobel Literature Prize this year -- a first in almost 70 years -- because of the crisis. 

It has severed all ties to Arnault and his cultural centre Forum which it had subsidised for years. The club has since been shut down. 

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