Richard Liu, the Chinese billionaire accused of rape by a University of Minnesota student, has earned the sympathy of many netizens after surveillance clips of him walking with his accuser emerged on social media.
Purportedly recorded on the night of Aug. 30, 2018, the footage captured events of the night in which the 21-year-old student named Liu Jingyao claimed she was raped by the JD.com CEO.
The five-minute footage included edited video from a group dinner at a Japanese restaurant and clips from the lobby and hallways of the student’s apartment building. It also showed them walking together, with the student tugging at the man’s arm.
Liu’s attorney has declared the clip to be authentic, noting that it shows inaccuracy in the accuser’s account of the events.
Lawyer Jill Brisbois told the Associated Press that the footage, “further dispel the misinformation and false claims that have been widely circulated and clearly support the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office decision not to file charges against our client.”
“The way it gets described sounds so much more nefarious than it actually is. She’s step-in-step with him at every point.”
Jingyao, who claimed that Liu forced himself upon her after a dinner party in August, filed a lawsuit against the tech entrepreneur earlier this month despite an earlier investigation by Minneapolis police that found “profound evidentiary problems” in the case. Local state prosecutors announced in December that they will not be filing criminal charges against Liu.
Based on the accounts she relayed to the authorities, she was seated beside Liu at the group dinner, during which she was pressured into drinking too much alcohol.
In the viral surveillance tape, however, she can be seen sitting two seats away from Liu. Jingyao also did not seem to be drunk and even followed Liu when he got up to leave.
She also claimed that when she left the restaurant, she asked one of Liu’s assistants to call her a ride service car.
According to Jingyao, she then got inside a black SUV which pulled up in front of her, not realizing that it was Liu’s vehicle. Liu allegedly got in right behind her.
She further alleged that she was dropped off outside of a mansion, but refused to enter and instead demanded to be taken back home.
Liu then allegedly began making “physical advances” on her despite being inside the SUV. No footage confirming the student’s account has emerged as of this writing.
Meanwhile, the surveillance video from Jingyao’s apartment building shows her, Liu, and Liu’s female assistant entering the building together and using an elevator without any apparent commotion.
The assistant eventually left, leaving Liu and Jingyao together arm-in-arm. She is then seen opening the door and letting him into her apartment.
Her statement claimed that she thought Liu was simply walking her to her door. However, after entering the apartment, he allegedly began trying to take her clothes off against her will.
“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,” said the student. “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.”
She would later send a text message to her friends claiming: “Liu Qiangdong is in my bed. He forcibly took me away last night and I couldn’t escape. I was slept by him [a Chinese idiom for being raped] I didn’t do it willingly… I want to escape.”
A friend notified the authorities, who arrived about an hour later to take in Liu.
Police arrested Liu on suspicion of rape and he was taken to jail based on the woman’s statements. He was released the next day without bail or travel restrictions.
Liu, who has denied the rape allegations, returned to China the next day.
Featured image via YouTube/狙击手麦克