Rape charge in Nobel scan­dal

The Phnom Penh Post - - WORLD -

AFRENCH cul­ture fig­ure at the cen­tre of a scan­dal that splin­tered the Swedish Acad­emy, which awards the Nobel Lit­er­a­ture Prize, has been charged with two counts of rape, Stock­holm pros­e­cu­tors said on Tues­day.

Jean-Claude Ar­nault, who is mar­ried to a mem­ber of the Swedish Acad­emy and is ac­cused of sexual as­sault by 18 women, has been charged with rap­ing a woman in Stock­holm on two oc­ca­sions in 2011.

He has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions. “The ev­i­dence in this case is solid and suf­fi­cient enough for an in­dict­ment,” Pros­e­cu­tor Christina Voigt SAID, re­fer­ring to in­di­rect wit­ness ac­counts that cor­rob­o­rate the vic­tim’s ver­sion of events. No date has been set for the trial. Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, a copy of which was ob­tained by AFP, Ar­nault, 71, 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.

He is also ac­cused of rap­ing her dur­ing the night of De­cem­ber 2-3 while she was asleep.

In Novem­ber, in the wake of the global #MeToo move­ment, Sweden’s news­pa­per of ref­er­ence

pub­lished the tes­ti­monies of 18 women claim­ing to have been raped, sex­u­ally as­saulted or ha­rassed by Ar­nault.

Mar­ried to Acad­emy mem­ber and poet Katarina Frosten­son, Ar­nault has de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, but the Acad­emy sev­ered all ties to him and his cul­tural cen­tre Fo­rum, which it had sub­sidised for years.

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.

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