(Reuters) – Minnesota prosecutors will not cost the billionaire chief government officer of China’s JD.com Inc, Richard Liu, after he was accused of rape by a University of Minnesota scholar throughout a latest U.S. go to, authorities stated on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: JD.com founder Richard Liu poses throughout a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China, June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo
Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman stated there have been “profound evidentiary problems which would have made it highly unlikely that any criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In an announcement, Freeman stated that after an investigation by Minneapolis police and a assessment by 4 senior sexual assault prosecutors, it was clear his workplace might not meet its burden of proof, and due to this fact might not deliver charges.
“Because we do not want to re-victimize the young woman, we will not be going into detail,” Freeman stated.
The 45-year-old Liu, who grew JD.com from a humble electronics stall to an e-commerce large with 2017 internet revenues of $55.7 billion and maintains tight management of the corporate, was launched with out cost about 17 hours after he was arrested on Aug. 31. He rapidly returned to China, the place he has continued to run the corporate. His representatives have maintained his innocence after the girl from China finding out on the University of Minnesota accused him of rape.
JD.com shares prolonged features on Friday and had been up 5.eight % after information unfold of the choice not to prosecute.
The case had attracted excessive curiosity in China.
The choice not to deliver charges was an enormous aid for Liu, who might have confronted as many as 30 years in jail beneath Minnesota legislation if convicted of first-degree felony sexual misconduct.
On Friday, Freeman stated the three months it took his workplace to assessment Liu’s case was not uncommon for a sexual assault investigation, particularly one in which nobody was in custody.
“It had nothing to do with Liu’s status as a wealthy, foreign businessman,” Freeman stated in his assertion.
A lawyer for the scholar who accused Liu blasted Friday’s choice and stated it confirmed why victims of sexual assault feared coming ahead.
The investigators “never met this victim; they never spoke to this victim; they never sought to meet with her lawyers,” the lawyer, Wil Florin, stated in an announcement. “Her story will be told. On her behalf we will not permit her dignity to be simply swept under the rug.”
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office did not instantly reply to a request for touch upon Florin’s assertion.
An lawyer for Liu stated they welcomed the choice.
“Mr. Liu was arrested based on a false claim, and after a thorough investigation, with which he fully cooperated, the declination of charges vindicates him,” Liu’s lawyer Jill Brisbois stated in an announcement.
Reuters beforehand reported particulars of what occurred whereas Liu was in Minneapolis, together with an outline of the alleged rape and occasions round it given by the now-22-year-old scholar.
Usually primarily based in Beijing, Liu made the U.S. journey for a weeklong residency program on the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, which runs a physician of enterprise administration program with China’s elite Tsinghua University.
The University of Minnesota stated it had no touch upon Friday’s announcement by authorities.
The choice to not prosecute adopted criticism of Minneapolis authorities, together with Freeman’s workplace, for what some see as a failure to pursue sexual assault circumstances adequately.
A latest investigation by the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper discovered that just one in 4 sexual assault circumstances in Minnesota is ever referred to a county lawyer, and that prosecutors reject half the circumstances police ship them. In August, Freeman known as the sequence “a good wake-up call” and pledged to strengthen sexual assault investigations.
Reporting by Dan Burns; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Leslie Adler