In September the Stockholm district court sentenced Jean-Claude Arnault to two years imprisonment for raping a woman in Stockholm seven years ago. The court absolved him of the charges relating to a second allegation, another rape against the same woman.
Jean-Claude Arnault, who has denied all charges, appealed the sentence. The sentence was also appealed by the prosecutor and the injured party. They wanted Arnault to be convicted of the second charge.
The second assault happened in December of 2011, where he was suspected of raping the woman while she was sleeping.
Read more: Former artistic director with ties to the Swedish Academy found guilty of rape
The Svea court of appeal on Monday found it beyond reasonable doubt that Arnault was guilty of rape also on the second occasion. In a press release the court writes that the woman's account of the incident was credible and strongly supported by several witnesses' accounts.
The court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison.
”Justice prevailed today. My client is very grateful and relieved by the court’s verdict,” the woman's counsel Elisabeth Massi Fritz said in a statement following the verdict.
”This sentence is not only important for my client. I am sure that many women now feel a sense of justice and a belief in the justice system,” she says.
The hearing in the court of appeal was held between November 12 and 14. Two new witnesses were called to speak in Arnault’s defence, one of them was his wife, Katarina Frostenson, a member of the Swedish Academy.
Jean-Claude Arnault has been in custody since the end of the hearing in the district court in September. According to the court of appeal he will remain in custody.
Björn Hurtig, defence attorney, tells SVT that the verdict will be appealed to the Supreme court:
”My client is distraught. He is surprised and upset. He still maintains his innocence. After going through this process I am prepared to believe him,” he says.