Student Files Lawsuit Against Chinese Billionaire Richard Liu Over Alleged Rape
The woman who accused JD.com founder Richard Liu of rape has filed a lawsuit against him this past Tuesday.
Liu Jingyao, a Chinese national studying at the University of Minnesota, claims that the tech entrepreneur forced himself upon her after a lavish dinner party in late August.
Wil Florin, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said that his client and Liu are not related. The lawsuit seeks at least $50,000 in damages.
“Defendant Liu was physically larger in size and significantly stronger than the plaintiff and used his superior size and strength to subdue and rape her,” the court document said, according to Reuters.
At the time of the alleged incident, Liu was in Minneapolis for a week-long residency under the University of Minnesota’s special Ph.D. program for Chinese executives. He allegedly organized the party in honor of the student volunteers who helped him and his classmates during their stay.
The plaintiff, then aged 21, was one of the 10 volunteers supposedly invited at Origami, an upscale Japanese restaurant that would serve as the venue of the party. To her surprise, no other volunteer was invited, but she managed to secure permission to have a fellow volunteer and a male friend accompany her.
According to the plaintiff, she went to the party at the invitation of Charlie Yao, another executive in the Ph.D. program. Liu allegedly asked Yao to invite her.
While accompanied by friends, the plaintiff sat at the end of the executives’ table, right next to Liu. She recalled being coerced to drink.
After dinner, the intoxicated plaintiff allegedly asked one of Liu’s assistants to arrange a ride service. However, Liu’s driver pulled up in a black SUV and offered a ride.
Liu, who also got in the car, allegedly took her to a mansion in south Minneapolis. A confrontation ensued after the plaintiff realized that she was far from home.
“He dragged me into the vehicle,” the plaintiff texted a friend later. “He started to make physical advances inside the vehicle. I begged him to stop but he didn’t listen.”
The SUV eventually headed for the plaintiff’s apartment complex. She got out of the car, but Liu allegedly followed behind.
“I told him ‘no’ several times,” the plaintiff then told the police, adding that Liu tried to remove her skirt and bra. “We were battling against each other on the bed and finally I escaped from him and went back to the living room and put the bra back on again.”
“Finally, he just threw me onto the bed. He was on me. He was heavy. I tried to push him away. But he was on top of me … and then he raped me.”
Liu was arrested the following day, Aug. 31, but was released 17 hours later. In December, prosecutors announced that he would face no criminal charges as the case had “profound evidentiary problems which would have made it highly unlikely that any criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Liu’s representatives has since maintained his innocence, stressing that they will “vigorously defend” him against such “meritless claims.” In an earlier statement, the billionaire argued that he had broken no law, but his interactions with the woman hurt his wife, the Associated Press reported.
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