Woman told police she was raped by Chinese billionaire
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A woman who said she was raped by Chinese billionaire Richard Liu told police she pleaded with him to stop as he attacked her inside her apartment after a night of drinking, according to documents reviewed by a newspaper.
The founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com was arrested Aug. 31 in Minneapolis, released without charges and returned to China. Prosecutors in Minneapolis are reviewing the case, but there is no timeline for when they might make a charging decision.
The Star Tribune reviewed text messages, portions of the 21-year-old alleged victim’s interviews with police, and other documents that piece together her account of the night.
Liu, 45, is a student with the Carlson School of Management’s doctor of business administration China program and was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency. His attorneys have said he’s innocent.
The alleged victim is from China and is a student at the University of Minnesota. Her Florida-based attorney, Wil Florin, confirmed that she attended an Aug. 30 dinner with Liu and others in which liquor was served and she felt coerced to drink.
According to materials viewed by the newspaper, the woman told a friend by text message that after the dinner, Liu dragged her into a vehicle and made advances.
“I begged him to stop but he didn’t listen,” one text read. She told police he followed her inside the apartment and pulled off her clothes as she protested. She told police, “I told him ‘no’ several times.”
The woman also told investigators that she escaped from him and started to redress herself before he threw her on the bed and raped her.
Afterward, she used the messaging system WeChat to text friends about what happened. She said she was raped, and when one friend asked her what he could do if she called police, she replied, “He is going to exercise his power. You underestimate him.”
The woman eventually gave a statement to police and Liu was arrested.
Jill Brisbois, one of Liu’s attorneys, told the Star Tribune she could not discuss the case or share evidence with the media because they do not want to interfere with the judicial process.
Liu is known in Chinese as Liu Qiangdong. He is worth $7.5 billion.