- Mingzhou Events/Weibo via YouTube; Bobby Yip/Reuters
- A college student is accusing Richard Liu, the billionaire CEO and founder of China’s JD.com, of rape.
- Liu Jingyao said the tech CEO forced her to drink at a group dinner and later raped her in her apartment, and is suing him in Minnesota after local prosecutors declined to pursue the case.
- Security footage of the pair at dinner and walking together in her apartment block leaked earlier this week, and both sides’ lawyers say they corroborate their version of events.
- Richard Liu’s lawyer issued a scathing statement saying that the video shows that nobody forced the accuser to drink, and that she was never so drunk that she couldn’t walk, as she previously claimed.
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Liu Jingyao, then a 21-year-old undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, is accusing Richard Liu – one of the richest people in China – of forcing her to drink alcohol at a group dinner, assaulting her during her ride home, and raping her in her apartment afterward.
The student filed a civil lawsuit against the CEO last week, accusing him of six counts of false imprisonment, civil assault or battery, and sexual assault or battery, according to courts documents seen by Business Insider. She seeks at least $50,000 in damages.
Richard Liu’s lawyers have called Liu Jingyao’s charges “meritless” and vowed to contest them.
- Mingzhoushiji/Weibo via YouTube
Leaked surveillance videos corroborate our story, both sides say
On Tuesday, an anonymous account on Chinese microblogging platform WeChat leaked edited two pieces of surveillance footage of the student and the CEO: one at the group dinner, and another of her putting her arm around him inside her apartment block.
Jill Brisbois, Richard Liu’s attorney, said in a Tuesday statement that the clips “further dispel the misinformation and false claims that have been widely circulated” about the rape accusation.
She said the footage vindicated the decision by Minnesota officials not to press criminal charges against Richard Liu last December, for which they cited insufficient evidence.
- Mingzhoushiji/Weibo via YouTube; Business Insider
Brisbois later issued a stronger statement against the student, saying that the video undermines her allegations that she was forced to drink and was so drunk that she was unable to walk.
According to Liu Jingyao’s complaint, the tech CEO used “culturally based” tactics to force her to drink at the dinner, saying that she would “dishonor” him and make him “lose face” if she didn’t.
The lawsuit also said that Liu Jingyao, “as was intended by Defendant Liu, became impaired as a result of coercive actions of Defendant Liu and his business friends and colleagues.”
You can watch leaked videos here:
‘… proves that the accusations against my clients are false’
Brisbois, Richard Liu’s lawyer, sent the following statement on Tuesday evening:
“The content of this video further proves that the accusations against my client are false, that he at no time forced Ms Jingyao Liu to stay at the table, nobody forced her to drink, the entire dinner was open and free, and Ms Jingyao Liu was never drunk to a point that she could not walk as she claimed in her statement to the police.”
Liu Jingyao’s police statement is not publicly available.
Brisbois added: “As to her release of the video showing my client’s arrest, as well as his arrest picture previously, it can serve no purpose other than to damage his reputation.”
The lawyer was likely referring to footage of Richard Liu being led away by police officers from the student’s apartment and subsequent arrest photo.
According to last week’s lawsuit, police officers went to the student’s apartment after she texted her friend about the alleged rape, and the friend called the police. Business Insider has seen partial but unverified footage of the arrest.
Brisbois added: “We call for the authorities to release all public evidence, including surveillance videos, as soon as possible, because they will demonstrate that my client is innocent.”
Business Insider has contacted Liu Jingyao’s lawyers for comment on the leaked surveillance footage and Brisbois’ latest comments.