STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Jean-Claude Arnault, the man at the centre of a scandal that rocked the academy which awards the Nobel Prize for literature, has appealed against a conviction for rape that grew out of the scandal, media reported on Thursday.

The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that Arnault's lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, had filed the appeal late on Wednesday. Hurtig told Reuters he had no comment.

A Swedish court found Arnault, 72, guilty of rape and sentenced him to two years in jail.

Arnault, who is the husband of poet and Academy member Katarina Frostenson, had pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape in a district court in Stockholm. The court acquitted him on one count.

At least 18 women levelled accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Arnault, a photographer and well-known cultural figure in Sweden.

The charges against Arnault prompted several members of the Academy to quit and forced it to cancel this year's literature prize.

(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Simon Johnson, Larry King)

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