The scandal erupted in November, when the newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on accusations of sexual misconduct against Mr. Arnault by 18 women, over three decades, putting him and the Swedish Academy at the heart of Sweden’s most prominent #MeToo episode yet.
One woman, Anna-Karin Bylund, a textile artist, said she had written to the academy in 1996, warning of misconduct by Mr. Arnault, but her complaint was ignored.
As a result of the revelations, the academy cut its ties with Forum, Mr. Arnault’s cultural club, and the police opened a criminal investigation. The academy refused to expel Mr. Arnault’s wife, Katarina Frostenson, a well-known poet; instead, members who wanted to play down the scandal ousted Sara Danius, the first woman to lead the academy, from her post.
Several academy members resigned in protest. The panel announced last month that as it tried to get its house in order, it would not award a literature prize in 2018 — the first time in 69 years that a year had been skipped.
“Perhaps justice will finally be served,” Per Wastberg, a member of the academy, said on Tuesday, in response to the indictment. “I have believed these 18 women, and have since then heard many more scary witness testimonies.”
Bjorn Wiman, culture editor at Dagens Nyheter, called the indictment a vindication for the women who came forward in November.
“Very few of them have found it worthwhile to file police reports — out of shame, out of fear that he will destroy their careers,” he said.