Sweden charges man at center of Nobel Prize sex scandal
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Sweden charges man at center of Nobel Prize sex scandal

Case of Jean-Claude Arnault, who denies two counts of rape in 2011, divided Academy members and sparked resignation of at least six, including his wife

The old Stock Exchange Building, home of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on May 3, 2018. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP)
The old Stock Exchange Building, home of the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on May 3, 2018. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The man at the center of a sex-abuse and financial crimes scandal that is tarnishing the academy that awards the Nobel Prize in Literature, was charged Tuesday, with two counts of rape of a woman in 2011.

Swedish prosecutor Christina Voigt said the evidence “is robust and sufficient for prosecution.”

Jean-Claude Arnault, a well-known figure in Sweden who ran a cultural center, is married to poet and former member of the Swedish Academy, Katarina Frostenson, who resigned in April. He has denied this and other sex abuse allegations.

In April, the Swedish Academy said an internal investigation into sexual misconduct allegations found that “unacceptable behavior in the form of unwanted intimacy” had taken place within the ranks of the prestigious institution.

Voight did not name the victim as is the customary in Sweden.

The secretive 18-member board has in recent months been embroiled in a sex-abuse scandal that investigators concluded was “not generally known.” It has led to the departure of at least six of members of the Academy — including its permanent secretary — and tarnished the prize’s reputation.

The academy had commissioned lawyers to investigate sexual misconduct claims from 18 women against Arnault. In April, it had decided to hand over the internal report to relevant judicial authorities.

Last month, the Swedish Academy announced that the Nobel Prize in literature would be not awarded this year following a string of sex abuse allegations and financial crimes scandals and that the 2018 prize would be given in 2019.

“We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced,” Anders Olsson, the Academy’s permanent secretary, said in a statement. He said the Academy was acting “out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public.”

It will be the first time since wartime 1943 that the prestigious award is not handed out.

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