HomeWorldChinese tycoon Richard Liu faces civil trial for alleged rape

Chinese tycoon Richard Liu faces civil trial for alleged rape

Jury selection begins Thursday in a civil trial against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu

Jury selection begins Thursday in a civil trial against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu

A Chinese billionaire, one of the world’s richest people, is heading to trial in Minneapolis to defend himself against allegations that he had sex with a former University of Minnesota student after dinner and drinking in 2018 raped.

Richard Liu, the founder and former CEO of e-commerce giant JD.com, has denied raping the woman, and prosecutors have not filed criminal charges. The woman sued in civil court, alleging that Richard Liu forced her to drink and raped her in his apartment before groping her in a limousine.

Both are expected to testify, and it will be up to the jury to decide who is telling the truth. Jury selection begins on Thursday, with the opening statement on Monday.

“I think our client’s credibility is one of the strongest parts of the jury,” said Will Florin, the woman’s attorney. “The incredible courage and patience this young lady has shown is truly admirable.”

Richard Liu’s lawyer, Diane Doolittle, said the woman had changed her story and the evidence would clear her client’s name.

“We are looking forward to presenting evidence, presenting the truth, so that the world knows that Mr. Liu is completely and completely innocent of these allegations against him,” she said.

The woman alleges that the attack took place in 2018 while Richard Liu was in Minneapolis for a week at the University of Business Administration’s Doctor of Business Administration China program in Minneapolis, toward high-level officials in China.

The woman, a Chinese national, was at the university on a student visa and was a volunteer at the program at the time.

The woman was 21 at the time; Richard Liu was 46 years old.

Richard Liu is a celebrity in China, part of a generation of entrepreneurs who built the country’s Internet, e-commerce, mobile phone and other technology industries since the late 1990s. Forbes has estimated his wealth at $11.5 billion.

Richard Liu, who stepped down as CEO of JD.com this year amid growing government investigations into China’s technology industry, was arrested on suspicion of felony, but prosecutors never filed criminal charges, it says. that there were “profound evidence problems” in the case.

The woman sued Richard Liu and JD.com in 2019 alleging sexual assault and battery as well as false imprisonment.

The case attracted widespread attention at a time when the #MeToo movement was gaining ground in China. Richard Liu’s supporters and opponents launched aggressive public relations campaigns on Chinese social media; Censors closed some accounts that supported the woman for “violation of the rules”.

The woman says in her lawsuit that she had to withdraw from classes in the fall of 2018 and seek counseling and treatment. Her lawyer says she has since graduated but has post-traumatic stress disorder. She wants compensatory damages to cover medical bills, emotional distress, and pain and suffering, and Judge Edward Wahl ruled that she could also seek punitive damages from Richard Liu.

She is seeking more than $50,000, a standard figure that must be listed in Minnesota if a plaintiff wants to ask for anything above that amount. She is expected to ask the jury to award more.

According to the lawsuit, on the night of the alleged assault, Richard Liu and other officers went to a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis, and at Richard Liu’s request, a man invited the victim. She felt it when powerful people toasted her, and Richard Liu said she would insult him if she didn’t attend, she said in her lawsuit.

According to text messages reviewed by The Associated Press And in her interview with the police, she said that after dinner, Richard Liu pulled her into a limousine and held her despite her protests. He said that he raped her in his apartment. She texted a friend: “I begged her not to. But he didn’t listen.”

After the police went to her apartment, she told an officer, “I was raped but not that kind of rape,” according to the police. When asked to explain, she changed the subject, saying that Richard Liu was famous and she was scared. She told the officer that the sex was “spontaneous” and she didn’t want the police to get involved.

According to police, officers released Richard Liu because “it was unclear whether a crime had actually occurred.” Later in an interview with an investigator, Richard Liu stated that the sex was consensual and the woman “enjoyed the whole process very much.”

According to police, the woman told a constable that she wanted to speak to Richard Liu’s lawyer and threatened to go to the media if she did not do so. Richard Liu’s former lawyer recorded the phone call, in which the victim said she did not want the matter to appear in the newspaper and “I just want the payment money and apologize and that’s it.”

That phone call will be allowed as evidence in the trial. The jurors will also be told that they can assume that any electronic messages deleted by the woman contain information to the contrary. Both pretrial decisions were considered victories for the defense.

The trial will show surveillance videos from the restaurant, its exterior and the hall of the woman’s apartment complex. Lawyers for Richard Liu have said the video shows the victim is not intoxicated or in distress, as she initially claimed, and changed her story after the video surfaced.

She says in her lawsuit that she went to his apartment building with Richard Liu to be polite, and believed he was leading her to the door. Florin, the woman’s lawyer, intends to play body camera video to the police, which she says makes her client afraid of Richard Liu because he is powerful.

“Extremely rich man, they always have the card they play: ‘Well, I’m being accused of this because I’m rich,'” Florin said.

“What happened that night was an evening of consensual sex,” said Doolittle, one of Richard Liu’s lawyers. “Mr. Liu regrets it, and he regrets being unfaithful to his wife.”

The burden of proof is less than in a criminal trial, and jurors only need to find a preponderance of evidence in favor of both sides, said Chris Madel, a Minneapolis attorney who is not involved in the case.

If jurors move to consider punitive damages, that part of the case requires a different standard of evidence. To award punitive damages, jurors must find “clear and convincing evidence” that Richard Liu “deliberately disregarded the rights or protections of others,” Madell said.

After cases like this, Mr Madell said, no matter how much evidence is presented, the jury will usually say: “We just listened to him, we listened to him, and we made up our mind.”

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