MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Richard Liu — the founder of China’s equivalent to Amazon — was accused, but never charged, with raping a 21-year-old international University of Minnesota student last August.
Now, Minneapolis police have released his case files, including an audio interview with the business tycoon.
Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong, is the founder of JD.com, also know as Jingdong Mall. He was participating in a program for Chinese business executives last summer at the Carlson School of Management when he was first accused.
On August 30, 2018, the young woman was invited to dinner with Liu and 15 others at Origami in Uptown. In the audio interview, the investigator asks Liu, “How many women were at the party?” He replies, “Four women, my secretary, an assistant, a classmate and [redacted name].”
They had been drinking wine, and at closing time, the young woman was driven to her university apartment.
“She invited me to go to her apartment,” Liu said in the deposition.
There, building surveillance cameras show the couple walking arm-in-arm, enter the elevator and go to her room. She would later tell police that Liu undressed, and then attempted to rip off her clothes as he forced her to have sex.
In the recording, the investigator asks Liu, “At any time in the contact, when it became romantic, did she say she did not want to have sex with you?” Liu replies, “No, she didn’t say that.”
As Liu slept, the woman texted a friend, saying she was forced to sleep with him. She would later tell officers that she was afraid what he might do to her family back in China, adding that Liu was a well-known and powerful man.
The following day, Liu arranged with his secretary to set up another meeting with the young woman — and that is where officers arrested him on probable cause sexual assault. He was booked and later released without being charged.
Last December, after a four-month investigation by police, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Liu would not be charged with a crime. Prosecutors concluded it was highly unlikely criminal sexual conduct could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court.