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

PHOTOS: Vancouver Island MusicFest revisited

This year’s lineup included Colin James, Tom Cochrane and lots more

Peninsula Co-op hosting matching gift campaign for BC Cancer Foundation

Company will match donations up to $75,000 for Vancouver Island residents battling cancer

Comox Valley military museum could be closed for a couple of months

HMCS Alberni site suffered water damage during a recent downpour

Injured humpback returns to waters off Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular again and noticed the whale has been healing

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Chiefs honour Indigenous leader wrongfully hanged in B.C. 154 years ago today

Chief Joe Alphonse says they want his remains returned to his homeland in B.C.’s Cariboo region

B.C. government seeks advice on reviving Interior forest industry

Public website opens as meetings start with community leaders

Film features Chez Monique, an off-the-grid restaurant on West Coast Trail in B.C.

“The story we are trying to share is of the loving haven they created and sustained for decades.”

Psychics, drones being used to search for missing Chilliwack woman with dementia

Drones, psychics, dogs and more have been employed to help find Grace Baranyk, 86

Most Read