A Chinese language billionaire, one of many richest individuals on the earth, is heading to trial in Minneapolis to defend himself towards allegations that he raped a former College of Minnesota scholar after an evening of dinner and drinks in 2018.
Richard Liu, the founder and former CEO of e-commerce big JD.com, has denied raping the girl, and prosecutors didn’t file felony prices. The lady, Jingyao Liu, sued in civil court docket, alleging she was coerced to drink earlier than Richard Liu groped her in a limousine and raped her in her residence.
Each are anticipated to testify, and it is going to be as much as a jury to resolve who’s telling the reality. Jury choice begins Thursday, with opening statements Monday.
“I feel our consumer’s credibility is among the strongest components of what the jury goes to listen to,” stated Wil Florin, an legal professional for Jingyao Liu. “The unbelievable braveness and fortitude that this younger woman has proven is actually admirable.”
Diane Doolittle, an legal professional for Richard Liu, stated that the girl has modified her story and that the proof will clear her consumer’s identify.
“We’re wanting ahead to presenting the proof, presenting the reality, in order that the world will know that Mr. Liu is absolutely and utterly harmless of those allegations towards him,” she stated.
The lady alleges the assault occurred in 2018 whereas Richard Liu was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency within the College of Minnesota’s physician of enterprise administration China program, geared towards high-level executives in China.
Jingyao Liu, a Chinese language citizen, was on the college on a scholar visa and was a volunteer in this system on the time. The Related Press doesn’t usually identify individuals alleging sexual assault, however Jingyao Liu has agreed to be recognized publicly.
Richard Liu and Jingyao Liu usually are not associated. Jingyao Liu was 21 on the time; Richard Liu was 46.
Richard Liu is a celeb in China, a part of a era of entrepreneurs who created the nation’s web, e-commerce, cell phone and different expertise industries for the reason that late Nineteen Nineties. Forbes estimated his wealth at $11.5 billion.
Richard Liu, who stepped down as CEO of JD.com this 12 months amid elevated authorities scrutiny of China’s expertise business, was arrested on suspicion of felony rape, however prosecutors by no means filed felony prices, saying the case had “profound evidentiary issues.”
Jingyao Liu sued Richard Liu and JD.com in 2019, alleging sexual assault and battery, together with false imprisonment.
The case drew widespread consideration at a time when the #MeToo motion was gaining traction in China. Richard Liu’s supporters and opponents waged aggressive public relations campaigns on Chinese language social media; censors shut down some accounts that supported Jingyao Liu for “violating rules.”
Jingyao Liu says in her lawsuit that she needed to withdraw from lessons in fall 2018 and search counseling and therapy. Her legal professional says she has since graduated however has post-traumatic stress dysfunction. She seeks compensatory damages to cowl medical payments, emotional misery and ache and struggling, and Choose Edward Wahl dominated she may additionally search punitive damages from Richard Liu.
She is in search of greater than $50,000, a normal determine that have to be listed in Minnesota if a plaintiff intends to hunt something above that quantity. She is anticipated to ask a jury to award rather more.
Based on the lawsuit, on the night time of the alleged assault, Richard Liu and different executives went to a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis, and one of many males invited Jingyao Liu at Richard Liu’s request. Jingyao Liu felt coerced to drink because the highly effective males toasted her, and Richard Liu stated she would dishonor him if she didn’t take part, she stated in her lawsuit.
Based on textual content messages reviewed by The Related Press and Jingyao Liu’s interviews with police, she stated that after the dinner, Richard Liu pulled her right into a limousine and groped her regardless of her protests. She stated he raped her at her residence. She texted a pal: “I begged him don’t. However he didn’t hear.”
After police went to her residence, Jingyao Liu advised one officer, “I used to be raped however not that type of rape,” based on police. When requested to clarify, she modified the topic and stated Richard Liu was well-known and he or she was afraid. She advised the officer that the intercourse was “spontaneous” and that she didn’t need police to get entangled.
Officers launched Richard Liu as a result of “it was unclear if against the law had truly taken place,” based on police. In an interview later with an investigator, Richard Liu stated that the intercourse was consensual and that the girl “loved the entire course of very a lot.”
Based on police, Jingyao Liu advised a sergeant she needed to speak with Richard Liu’s legal professional and threatened to go to the media if she didn’t. Richard Liu’s former legal professional recorded the cellphone name, during which Jingyao Liu stated that she didn’t need the case to be within the newspaper and that “I simply want fee cash and apologize and that’s all.”
That cellphone name shall be allowed as proof within the trial. The jurors may even be advised that they might presume any digital messages deleted by Jingyao Liu contained data unfavorable to her. Each pretrial rulings have been thought of wins for the protection.
Surveillance movies from the restaurant, its exterior and the halls of the girl’s residence complicated shall be proven at trial. Richard Liu’s attorneys have stated the video exhibits that Jingyao Liu doesn’t look like intoxicated or in misery, as she initially claimed, and that she modified her story after the video surfaced.
She says in her lawsuit that she went to her residence constructing with Richard Liu to be well mannered, and that she believed he was merely strolling her to the door. Florin, Jingyao Liu’s legal professional, intends to play physique digital camera video from police that he says exhibits his consumer feared Richard Liu as a result of he’s highly effective.
“Insanely rich males, they at all times have the cardboard that they play: ‘Effectively, I’m being accused of this as a result of I’m rich,’” Florin stated.
“What occurred that night time was a night of consensual intercourse,” Doolittle, one in all Richard Liu’s attorneys, stated. “Mr. Liu regrets that, and he regrets being untrue to his spouse.”
The burden of proof is decrease than in a felony trial, and jurors want solely discover a preponderance of proof in both aspect’s favor, stated Chris Madel, a Minneapolis legal professional who isn’t concerned within the case.
If jurors proceed to contemplating punitive damages, that portion of the case requires a distinct normal of proof. To award punitive damages, jurors should discover “clear and convincing proof” that Richard Liu “intentionally disregarded the rights or security of others,” Madel stated.
After circumstances like this, Madel stated, regardless of how a lot proof is introduced, jurors will usually say: “We simply listened to him, we listened to her, and we made our minds up.”
This story was initially revealed September 28, 2022 11:56 PM.