On the night time of Aug. 30, a 21-year-old College of Minnesota scholar mentioned she was in a chauffeured black automobile, attempting to maintain billionaire JD.com Inc Chief Govt Richard Liu from pulling off her garments.

“I simply begged him, ‘Do not try this. You may have spouse and you’ve got youngsters,'” the Chinese language girl informed police in a recorded interview days after that was reviewed by Reuters. “He didn’t hearken to me.”

At round three a.m., Minneapolis police responded to an “assault in progress” involving Liu on the girl’s luxurious condo, a police report confirmed, after a good friend alerted authorities. Officers investigated and concluded that no crime had occurred. Exactly what the girl and Liu informed police has not been made public, however Reuters beforehand reported that she was afraid that Liu would retaliate in opposition to her if she pressed fees.

Lower than 24 hours later, when police have been summoned once more with the assistance of a college administrator, the girl was unequivocal: She mentioned she had been raped by Liu. The Chinese language govt was arrested that night time.

Liu, who has maintained his innocence by means of representatives, was jailed for about 17 hours earlier than being launched. Hours later, he flew to China, which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the USA.

Native prosecutors are weighing proof that will transfer the case past a “he mentioned, she mentioned” stalemate. Among the many points being thought-about by the Hennepin County Legal professional’s workplace: the divergent accounts of what occurred that night time, the preliminary willpower by police that there was no crime, and the girl’s early hesitance to press fees in opposition to Liu, Reuters has realized.

An lawyer for Liu, Jill Brisbois, mentioned in an emailed response that Liu’s innocence would turn into obvious as soon as extra proof is disclosed. “We’re very dissatisfied that Reuters would select to run a narrative with unsubstantiated info, from nameless sources who clearly have an agenda, whereas Richard can not defend himself out of respect for the judicial course of,” she wrote.

Wil Florin, an lawyer for the now 22-year-old girl employed 4 days after the alleged rape, wouldn’t make her obtainable for remark.

Florin mentioned in response to questions that the case was “easy” – Liu used power to have non-consensual intercourse – and the preliminary hesitance to press fees was comprehensible. “Nobody can absolutely admire the hurricane of preliminary feelings that a rape sufferer suffers,” Florin mentioned. “Reluctance, concern and confusion are commonplace.”

Requested if his consumer deliberate any civil fits, Florin mentioned, “Our authorized intentions with regard to Mr. Liu and others will likely be revealed on the applicable time.”

Some authorized specialists say victims’ preliminary reluctance to talk out plainly can deter prosecutors from charging as a consequence of considerations about how it will be seen by a jury.

“The choice to prosecute has loads to do with the preliminary response of the sufferer, which is unlucky,” mentioned Roger Canaff, a former intercourse crimes prosecutor in New York.

Others mentioned prosecutors ought to nonetheless be capable of make a case, for instance, with the assistance of professional witnesses.

“Prosecutors can nonetheless educate jurors on points like concern of retaliation, avoidance and disgrace,” mentioned Benjamin Andreozzi, a Pennsylvania-based lawyer who incessantly represents victims of sexual abuse.

The choice by prosecutors will probably have an effect on JD.com, whose shares have already tumbled by greater than a 3rd since Liu’s arrest. Also referred to as Liu Qiangdong, he maintains tight management of the corporate he grew from a humble electronics stall to an e-commerce big with 2017 web income of $55.7 billion and companions comparable to Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK).

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