Photographer at center of Nobel Prize rape scandal gets prison

A French photographer whose rape scandal led to the shelving of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature was sentenced Monday to two years in prison.

A Swedish court found Jean-Claude Arnault guilty of raping a woman the night of Oct. 5, 2011, in a case that has rocked the Swedish Academy, which doles out the prestigious annual prize.

Arnault, 72, is married to poet Katarina Frostenson, who was among eight of the academy’s 18 lifetime members who’ve resigned or are on leave in the wake of the scandal.

Without a quorum to make key decisions, the academy was forced to forgo the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature for the first time in 70 years.

For years the academy funded Arnault’s Forum club, a meeting place for the cultural elite that’s popular among budding writers looking for their big break.

Arnault, who is well known in Sweden’s cultural scene, was charged with two counts of rape relating to incidents against one woman in October and December 2011.

Prosecutors dropped several other sexual misconduct allegations against him due to lack of evidence or because the statute of limitations had expired.

He was acquitted of the December rape charge by the Stockholm district court on Monday.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the victim, said Arnault’s conviction on the other count of rape was “a huge relief for my client and a victory for justice.”

Arnault has been in protective custody since his trial concluded Sept. 24 and will remain behind bars until the formal start of his sentence.

His accusers have blasted the Swedish Academy for knowing about his behavior yet creating a “culture of silence.”

An internal academy investigation found conflicts of interest between Arnault and the academy — and that several of its female members or people close to them had been harassed or assaulted by him.

The probe also revealed that Arnault leaked the names of Nobel literature laureates to his friends several times.

With Post wires

Source: Read Full Article