Richard Liu is the billionaire who operates JD.com

Woman sues Chinese billionaire for alleged rape

Richard Liu released a statement on Chinese social media then saying he broke no law

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 defence 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.

READ MORE: Prosecutor wraps up case in Bountiful child bride trial

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. 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.

On the night of the alleged attack, Liu and other executives went to Origami, a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis. The woman went to the dinner as a volunteer, Florin has said. She felt coerced to drink as the powerful men toasted her, he said.

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 vehicle and made advances despite her protests. The woman texted a friend: “I begged him don’t. But he didn’t listen.” She said he raped her at her apartment.

READ MORE: US man gets life for killing teen who accused him of rape

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.

———

Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

7th annual Invermere Music Fest

A snapshot of the festival

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Need cash to splash

Radium Sunrise Rotary Club wants to build a splash park in Radium Hot Springs

Kootenay National Park about to turn 100

Ninety-nine years of publicly-accessible wilderness

Water bottling facility proposed in Canal Flats

Source of the Columbia Beverages Inc. promises jobs and financial investment into community

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Most Read