Swedish court adds 2nd rape conviction for man in Nobel scandal

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

A lower court in October had found Arnault — who is married to former Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson — guilty of one rape, but had acquitted him of another.

The appeals court found him guilty of both rapes in an unanimous decision.

It also increased his prison sentence by six months to 2-1/2 years in prison. Arnault had denied all charges.

“The Court of Appeals judges that the plaintiff’s and the witnesses’ testimonies are reliable and that the evidence is sufficient for a guilty verdict,” the court said in a statement.

The accusations against him sparked 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 sex-abuse and financial crimes scandal surrounding Arnault has tarnished the Swedish Academy and forced it to take a year off in choosing the prestigious Nobel literature prize. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency via Associated Press)

The scandal led eight members to either leave or disassociate themselves from the secretive body’s 18-member board. Amid the chaos, this year’s Nobel literature award has been postponed to 2019. Arnault was also suspected of leaking the name of Nobel Prize literature winners — allegedly seven times, starting in 1996.

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. 

SOURCE: CBC.ca

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