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Jean-Claude Arnault, Central Figure in Nobel Scandal, Is Jailed for Rape

The court acquitted him of the other charges. The verdicts were unanimous.

“The evidence in this case has mainly consisted of statements made during the trial by the injured party and several witnesses,” Judge Antemar said in a statement released by the court. “The court has made a thorough evaluation of the evidence and the court’s conclusion is that the evidence is enough to find the defendant guilty of one of the events for which the prosecutor has brought charges.”

Though Mr. Arnault could have received a sentence of up to six years, two years “is a reasonable penalty,” Christina Voigt, the prosecutor, said in a telephone interview. In addition to the prison term, the court awarded unspecified damages to the victim.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a lawyer for the victim, called the verdict “a big relief for my client” and “a victory for justice.” She said it should undermine “the culture of silence that surrounds rapes and sex crimes.”

The verdict was announced as the 2018 Nobel season opened, the first without a literature prize in nearly 70 years. The first prize, for physiology or medicine, was announced minutes after the court announced its decision on Mr. Arnault.

Torn apart by an acrimonious fight over its affiliation with Mr. Arnault, the Swedish Academy, which has handed out the award since 1901, announced in May that it would instead name two winners in 2019.

Following the revelations, the academy cut its ties with the Forum, Mr. Arnault’s cultural club, but it refused to expel Mr. Arnault’s wife, Katarina Frostenson, a well-known poet. Instead, members who wanted to play down the crisis ousted Sara Danius, the first woman to lead the academy. Several members resigned in disgust.

Lars Heikensten, director of the Nobel Foundation, has said there might not be a literature prize next year, either.

Mr. Heikensten told the public service broadcaster Sveriges Radio in May that the prize would “be awarded when the Swedish Academy has won back the public’s trust.”

Source: NYT > World

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