A University of #Minnesota student accused Richard Liu, the #billionaire founder of the #Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, of rape in a #lawsuit filed in #Minneapolis on Tuesday, four months after prosecutors declined to pursue a criminal case.
The lawsuit, which also names JD.com as a defendant, seeks more than $50,000 in damages. The student, Liu Jingyao, is identified in the complaint as an undergraduate who lives in Minneapolis.
In the lawsuit, filed in Minnesota State Court in Hennepin County, she accused Mr. Liu of forcing himself on her in her apartment on Aug. 30 while he was taking courses at the university.
He was later arrested but released within hours and allowed to return to #China. On Dec. 21, the county attorney’s office said it had not found enough evidence to charge him with #sexualassault.
A lawyer for Mr. Liu, Jill Brisbois, said in a statement that, based on the county attorney’s decision “and our belief in his innocence, we feel strongly that this suit is without merit and will vigorously defend against it.” Ms. Liu said in the complaint that the experience had caused her to withdraw from all of her classes in the fall and seek professional counseling.
Chinese social media users were fixated on the case. #MrLiu is a #celebrity in #Asia, a tycoon with a well-known personal tale of humble beginnings, hard work and enormous wealth. He is married to Zhang Zetian, a popular figure on social media known as Sister Milk Tea.
JD.com’s stock has struggled in the past year under pressure from concerns about Mr. Liu’s ability to lead the company and instability in the Chinese economy.
Mr. Liu had been in Minneapolis to participate in a global business program aimed at Asian executives, according to Tuesday’s complaint.
Ms. Liu, a Chinese citizen, was asked to be a volunteer for the program, according to the lawsuit.
Reas more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/16/business/jdcom-ceo-richard-liu-rape-lawsuit.html