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Swedish Academy scandal: Frenchman faces trial over rape charges

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Swedish Academy scandal: Frenchman faces trial over rape charges
Jean-Claude Arnault, who denies the allegations. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
07:44 CEST+02:00
The man at the centre of sexual assault allegations that prompted the Swedish Academy to postpone this year's Nobel Literature Prize, will go on trial on rape charges.

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 19th, 20th and 24th.

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 5th, 2011.

Arnault, who has denied the allegations, is also accused of raping her during the night of December 2nd-3rd 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.

READ ALSO: The story behind the Swedish Academy's rapid descent into farce

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 subsidized for years. The club has since been shut down.

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