Videos cast light and doubts over Liu Qiangdong case
Two video clips of interactions between a female student and Liu Qiangdong, CEO of JD.com, who she has accused of rape have been widely circulated online, in the latest twist in the high-profile case.
The two videos are from surveillance cameras in a restaurant where a group of people including the student, Liu Jingyao, and Liu Qiangdong dined and from Liu Jingyao’s apartment building in Minnesota. They were posted by a user called “mingzhoushiji” on Weibo on April 22.
The user said Liu Jingyao appeared sober in the videos and followed Liu Qiangdong out of the restaurant on her own. She invited Liu Qiangdong into her apartment and held onto his arm in the elevator, indicating an intimate relationship between the two, the user claimed.
Liu Jingyao, a University of Minnesota student, accused Liu Qiangdong of rape in August 2018 when he was visiting the university to attend a doctor of business administration program directed at executives from China. She filed a civil lawsuit against him in a Minneapolis court on April 16, nearly four months after prosecutors declined to press criminal charges due to “profound evidentiary problems.”
The lawsuit filed in Hennepin County court seeks undisclosed damages and accuses Liu Qiangdong and JD.com of a total of six counts of false imprisonment, civil assault and battery, as well as sexual assault or battery.
In the lawsuit, Liu Jingyao claimed she was pressured into consuming a large amount of alcohol and taken into a limousine with the executive.
In the vehicle, "Liu began to grope and physically force himself upon the plaintiff," the complaint said, adding that the limousine driver was a witness.
The Weibo account of “mingzhoushiji” was registered on January 31, 2019, and nothing has been posted except the two video clips.
Chen Xi, a partner of law firm Jingcheng Tongda & Neal, said on Weibo on April 22 that she represents Liu Qiangdong and confirmed that the content of the videos was authentic.