By AMY FORLITI, MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A woman who said she was raped by JD.com founder Richard Liu filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the billionaire and his company alleging he and other wealthy Chinese executives coerced her to drink during a dinner in the hours before she was attacked.
Jingyao Liu, a student at the University of Minnesota, claims Liu forced himself upon her in his vehicle after the dinner and later raped her at her apartment. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000.
Richard Liu, founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was arrested Aug. 31 in Minneapolis on suspicion of felony rape and released within hours. Prosecutors announced in December that he would face no criminal charges because the case had “profound evidentiary problems” and that it was unlikely they could prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Liu’s defense attorneys said at the time that his arrest was based on a false claim. Liu released a statement on Chinese social media then saying he broke no law, but that his interactions with the woman hurt his family, especially his wife, and he hoped she would accept his apology.
Attorneys for Richard Liu and representatives of JD.com did not immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The alleged attack happened while Liu was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency as part of the University of Minnesota’s doctor of business administration China program. The four-year program in the university’s management school is geared toward high-level executives in China and is a partnership with Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.
Jingyao Liu is a Chinese citizen studying at the university on a student visa, and was a volunteer in the doctorate program while Richard Liu was there. The Associated Press does not generally name alleged victims of sexual assault without their consent; her attorney Wil Florin said Jingyao Liu had agreed to be named.
The lawsuit said she was 21 at the time of the alleged attack. Florin said Richard Liu and Jingyao Liu are not related.
On the night of the alleged attack, Liu and other executives went to Origami, a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis. The woman went as a volunteer at the invitation of Charlie Yao, another executive in the program. He pitched it as an event to honor volunteers, but no others were invited and Richard Liu had privately asked Yao to invite the plaintiff, the lawsuit said.
Jingyao Liu felt coerced to drink as the powerful men toasted her, with Richard Liu saying she would dishonor him if she did not join in, according to the lawsuit.
Text messages reviewed by The Associated Press and portions of the woman’s interviews with police show the woman claims Liu pulled her into a limousine and made advances despite her protests. The woman texted a friend: “I begged him don’t. But he didn’t listen.”
The lawsuit said a Liu aide turned the limousine’s rear-view mirror upward so the chauffeur could not see Liu groping the student in the rear despite her protests. It says Liu forcibly raped her at her apartment, again over her protests and resistance.
Liu, known in Chinese as Liu Qiangdong, is a prominent member of the Chinese tech elite, with a fortune of $7.5 billion. He is part of a generation of entrepreneurs who have created China’s internet, e-commerce, mobile phone and other technology industries since the late 1990s. The son of peasants, Liu built a Beijing electronics shop into JD.com, China’s biggest online direct retailer, selling everything from clothes to toys to fresh vegetables.
(FILE – This 2018 file photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minneapolis shows Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, who was arrested Aug. 31, 2018, in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. A woman who said she was raped by Liu filed a lawsuit Tuesday, April 16, 2019, against the billionaire and his company alleging he and other wealthy Chinese executives coerced her to drink during a dinner in the hours before she was attacked. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)
Comment here !
BY Manoj Rijal, NEW YORK:- US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said that the US will continue towards
HONG KONG, (AFP):- Hong Kong’s opposition-devoid legislature approved new powers on Wednesday allowing the government to sack public office holders
BEIJING (AP) — China’s space agency said a core segment of its biggest rocket reentered Earth’s atmosphere above the Maldives
BEIJING (AP) — China has opened Mount Everest’s northern slope to a few dozen mountaineers who will be tested for