Details emerge of alleged after-dinner rape

China | 3 Dec 2018

It was an evening in late August, and a crowd had gathered at the Origami sushi restaurant in Minneapolis.

One guest, a 21-year-old female Chinese undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, was expecting a dinner in honor of volunteers like herself.

Instead, she found herself surrounded by more than a dozen Chinese executives. Among them was Charlie Yao, a businessman she had met days earlier - and who had invited her to the dinner. Yao asked her to sit next to Richard Liu, one of China's wealthiest men and chief executive of e-commerce giant JD.com Inc.

This account is based on documents, the woman's statement to police, and her WeChat messages to a friend. Her lawyer, Will Florin, also spoke to the media. The events that unfolded on August 30 culminated early the next morning, when the woman alleges she was raped by Liu in her apartment.

Over the course of dinner, wine flowed freely, as Liu and other men at the table repeatedly toasted the woman, using the Chinese phrase "ganbei," or "dry cup." To her mind, she was being "forced" to drink.

Later that night, she departed with Liu in a limousine. In the car, he tried to kiss her and pull off her clothes, she said. "You have wife, and you have kids," she told him. "Don't do this, I don't want to do this." After she repeatedly asked him to take her back to her flat, he relented.

Upon arriving, she exited the vehicle, followed by Liu. Once inside, he tried to undress her and throw her on the bed. She told him no and resisted his advances.

Liu then pressured her to take a shower with him. When she declined, he tried to pull her into the shower.

He finished showering and proceeded to her bedroom, while she locked herself in the bathroom to change out of wet clothes. When she came out, she found him naked on her bed.

Eventually, she said, "he threw me on to the bed" and held her down, and proceeded to have sex with her, she told police.

Liu was arrested the following day and held for nearly 17 hours before being released with no charges, and returned to China soon after.

"This version of events is filled with unsubstantiated information, from sources who clearly have an agenda," said Jill Brisbois, Liu's attorney.

"We would urge everyone to wait for the prosecutor's determination, instead of continuing to present a one-sided and inaccurate narrative. When all of the relevant evidence is disclosed, Richard's innocence and the full story will become apparent."

BLOOMBERG

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