The 21-year-old University of Minnesota student accusing JD.com CEO Richard Liu of rape claimed that the Chinese billionaire just “threw me onto the bed” even after she rejected his advances multiple times.
China and the world was shocked in September when Liu was arrested on suspicion of raping the victim after a lavish dinner party, which took place on the evening of Aug. 30, according to Reuters.
Liu reportedly organized the party in honor of student volunteers who helped him and his classmates in the university’s special Ph.D. program for Chinese executives during a week-long summer residency.
The alleged victim, one of the ten student volunteers, was asked to join the expensive dinner but learned earlier in the day that no one else from the group was invited.
She then secured permission to have a male friend and a fellow volunteer join her. Overall, about 20 people attended the dinner at Origami, an upscale Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis.
While accompanied by friends, the alleged victim reportedly sat at the end of the executives’ table, right next to Liu. She would soon leave the premises without them.
“The executives toasted each other and repeatedly toasted my client,” said Wil Florin, the alleged victim’s lawyer. “She felt coerced to drink and acknowledge their toasts and became intoxicated.”
After dinner, the alleged victim wanted to go home and asked one of Liu’s assistants to arrange a ride service. To her surprise, Liu’s driver pulled up in a black SUV and the billionaire got in behind her shortly.
The SUV then took them to a mansion in south Minneapolis, a source told The Star Tribune. However, a confrontation ensued when the alleged victim realized that she was nowhere near home.
“He dragged me into the vehicle,” she later texted a friend. “He started to make physical advances inside the vehicle. I begged him to stop but he didn’t listen.”
They eventually reached the alleged victim’s apartment complex located near the university. She got out and Liu followed her.
Then, inside the apartment, Liu allegedly told her that she could be like Wendi Deng, the Chinese-born ex-wife of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch. He allegedly pulled off her sweater.
“I told him ‘no’ several times,” the alleged victim 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.”
Following the encounter, the alleged victim reached out to friends on WeChat to confide about her experience. She also informed the male friend who accompanied her to dinner, who then called 911.
Police arrived at the apartment approximately two hours after the incident. Liu was taken to a patrol car for questioning, but the alleged victim interfered, saying she did not want them to investigate.
She gave a statement on the night of Aug. 31, the same time Liu was arrested and delivered to the Hennepin County jail. However, she remained fearful about pursuing an investigation, so Liu was released the next day.
But in a twist of events, the alleged victim finally decided to pursue a case on September 2 and contacted the police. Liu, however, had returned to China.
In the aftermath of the incident, JD.com — the second-largest e-commerce platform in China after Alibaba — maintained that the allegations against its CEO were completely fraudulent.
“Mr. Liu has cooperated with Minneapolis law enforcement and is willing to cooperate further if requested,” the company said in a statement on Sept. 6. “The situation in Minnesota did not have, and is not expected to have, any impact on JD.com’s day-to-day operations.”
Investigations by Minneapolis police concluded on Sept. 21. At this point, the prosecutor’s office of Hennepin County will decide whether or not to press charges against the billionaire.
“We’ve got the case,” said Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. “We’re looking it over closely. When we make a decision, we’ll let everybody know.”
This is not the first time Liu’s name has been associated with a rap e allegation. His friend, Xu Longwei, is currently serving a four-year sentence for rape in Australia. The crime reportedly occurred after another dinner party in 2015 at Liu’s penthouse in Sydney.
While Liu was not accused in that event, he lost a legal bid to keep his name out of court records, the South China Morning Post reported.