News

Surveillance clips show Chinese billionaire with a prosecutor

FILE – In this file photo taken on May 22, 2014, Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, CEO of JD.com, raises his arms to celebrate the IPO of his company at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York. A woman who said she was raped by Liu filed a lawsuit Tuesday, April 16, 2019, against the billionaire and his company alleged that he and other wealthy Chinese executives forced her to drink during a dinner in the hours before she was attacked. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

MINNEAPOLIS – A lawyer for JD.com founder Richard Liu said Monday that surveillance video with the Chinese businessman in an elevator and walk arm in arm with a woman who accused him of rape offers a different account of what happened that night.

Two edited videos of Liu and his accuser have been placed, Monday to and with a Chinese social media site. The law firm that the prosecutor said that the videos are in accordance with what they told law enforcement and asked in a lawsuit filed last week against the businessman and his company.

A video shows the couple leaving a dinner in Minneapolis on Aug. 30, with the woman getting up to leave after Liu, following him out the door. The other video shows that the woman has that on Liu’s arm as they walk to her apartment, where she says he raped her as she begged him to stop.

Liu, founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com arrested Aug. 31 in Minneapolis on suspicion of the crime of rape, but the officers of justice announced in December that he would face no criminal charges because the case had “profound evidence problems” and it was unlikely that they could prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The woman, Jingyao Liu, a Chinese student at the University of Minnesota, alleges in her lawsuit that she was groped on Richard Liu’s limousine and raped in her apartment after a dinner at Origami, a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis, where she says that she felt pressured to drink when Liu and the other officers toasted her. At one point, Richard Liu said that they would bring him dishonor, as they do not participate, the lawsuit says.

Richard Liu and Jingyao Liu are not related.

It is not clear who posted the videos, which were posted on Weibo under an account for Mingzhou Events. The clips are short and the content is edited, but Richard Liu’s lawyers in China confirmed their authenticity. The videos contain no audio, and they do not see what there is in his limousine or in the woman’s apartment.

Jill Brisbois, Richard, Liu’s lawyer in Minnesota, said in a statement to The Associated Press that the cuts “further removal of wrong information and false claims that were widely disseminated and clearly support the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office decision not to file against our client.”

Brisbois said the videos speak for themselves and show the events as they happen. While the woman claimed that she was impaired and forced to drink, she seems to walk without assistance, and linking her arm with the businessman.

The lawsuit says the woman went to her apartment with Liu polite and respectful, and he believed that he was just a walk with her to the door.

The clip in Jingyao Liu’s apartment complex shows Richard Liu and the woman walk through several lobbies and lifts. In the first instance, Richard Liu ‘ s wife-assistant is with them and the woman leading the way. At one point, the assistant may not be in an elevator with Richard Liu and the woman, and when they came out of the elevator, she has her hand through his arm, and he has his hands in his pockets.

She leads him through a short flight of stairs, and then through another set of doors and continues to link her hand through his arm. If they are from another elevator, she leads him down a hallway to an apartment. She opens the door and goes inside, and Richard Liu follows.

The other clip features surveillance video from the end of the dinner in Origami. It shows Jingyao Liu sits at a table with other men, and Richard Liu is a few seats away, seems to have an animated conversation with the others at the table. A man at the dinner is slumped over and seems to be passed. The woman is seen talking to the man next to her, and when Liu gets to leave, she stands up and appears to follow him. They walk next to each other. Video from outside the restaurant shows her leaving with Richard Liu and his assistant.

Richard Liu run forward, and it seems the woman and Liu assistant of a short conversation, then she Liu.

Sms-messages previously reviewed by The Associated Press and parts of the woman of the interviews with the police show the woman alleges, Liu took her in a limousine and made advances and groped her despite her protests. The lawsuit says Liu forcibly raped her in her apartment, again over her protests and resistance. She texted a friend: “I begged him not to. But he would not listen.”

The alleged attack happened while Richard Liu was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency as part of the University of Minnesota has a doctorate in business administration from the China program. The four-year course in the university management school is focused on high-level executives in China and is a collaboration with Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

Jingyao Liu is a Chinese citizen studying at the university on a student visa and was a volunteer in the promotion, while Richard Liu was there. The Associated Press does not generally name alleged victims of sexual violence, without their consent, but the Florin Roebig law firm of her has said that she agreed to be named. She was 21 at the time of the alleged attack.

Richard 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 that have been made of China’s internet, e-commerce, mobile phone and other technology industry since the late 1990s. The son of farmers, Liu built Beijing a electronics store in JD.com China’s largest online direct retailer, selling everything from clothing to toys to fresh fruit.

___

Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular