Student sues Chinese billionaire for alleged rape in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A University of Minnesota student who accused a Chinese billionaire of raping her in Minneapolis is suing the man and his company for monetary damages.
Richard Liu, founder of JD.com, was arrested back in August, but was not charged in the crime. He was in Minneapolis attending a week-long residency at the university as part of its Doctor of Business Administration China program. The student was a volunteer in the program at the time.
According to the lawsuit, Liu was accompanied by his wife for a portion of the trip, but she returned home on Aug. 30, 2018.
The lawsuit alleges that Liu would “repeatedly coerce” the student into consuming alcohol and on the night of Aug. 30, he told the student that if she refused to drink, she would “dishonor” him in from of other executives.
By the end of the evening, the student became impaired and, according to the lawsuit, asked another woman, “Alice,” for a ride home through a ride service. When she left the dinner, she was directed into a private limousine that JD.com or a company controlled by JD.com had hired for the week. Liu, “Alice,” and another joined her in the limousine.
According to the lawsuit, Liu then began groping the student and did not stop despite the student repeatedly asking him to stop. When they arrived at the destination, a mansion in Minneapolis, the student pleaded, in English, “I want to go home.”
The student alleges that Liu then grabbed her by her arm and pushed her back into the limousine. The actions were witnessed by the chauffeur.
As the group drove from the mansion to the student’s apartment, Liu continued groping the student despite her objections. At one point, “Alice” intentionally “grabbed the rearview mirror and turned it all the way up in order to prevent the chauffeur from seeing what was happening.”
According to the lawsuit, when they reached the student’s apartment, Liu and “Alice” walked her to the building. Liu then instructed “Alice” not to follow.
When the two made it to her apartment, Liu “removed all his clothing and laid nude on her bed.” The student pleaded with Liu to put on his clothes and leave her apartment. Instead, Liu allegedly said “you can be a woman just like Wendi Deng.” Deng is a entrepreneur and movie producer. She was once married to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Liu then forced himself on the student and raped her, according to the lawsuit.
Following the rape, the student managed to send a message to a friend on her smartphone. She told the friend she had been sexually assaulted by Liu and that police should not be notified because she “did not want to risk her safety or that of her family in China by angering [Liu], nor did she want to bring public attention to herself as a rape victim.”
According to the lawsuit, the student’s friend then notified police, and Minneapolis police officers responded to the student’s apartment. Officers, who were wearing body cameras, knocked on the student’s door and she let them in. Once inside, officers noticed the student was fully clothed, and Liu was lying on the bed, nude from the waist down.
As officers arrested Liu, he “clearly tried to intimidate” the student by “staring her down" and “angrily stating to her ‘what the hell?’ in Mandarin.”
Liu's attorneys say his arrest was based on a false claim.