No charges to be filed against Chinese billionaire accused of sex assault

The Hennepin County Attorney said it couldn't meet the burden of proof.
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No charges will be filed against the Chinese billionaire who had been accused of sexual assaulting a U of M student while visiting in Minneapolis.

The Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday that there were "profound evidentiary problems" with the case against Liu Qiangdong, making it "highly unlikely" that a prosecution would be successful.

Freeman says that the Minneapolis PD sex crimes unit carried out a thorough investigation that underwent a "meticulous review" by four sex assault prosecutors.

Liu, who is the founder of Chinese online retail giant JD.com and is worth an estimated $6.7 billion, was accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old University of Minnesota at an apartment in Minneapolis.

The 45 year old, who was in town as part of a program with the U of M Carlson School of Management, denied the accusation, and Freeman said there wasn't enough there to bring formal charges.

“As is the case in many sexual assault incidents, it was a complicated situation,” Freeman said. “It is also similar to other sexual assault cases with the suspect maintaining the sex was consensual."

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"As we reviewed surveillance video, text messages, police body camera video and witness statements, it became clear that we could not meet our burden of proof and, therefore, we could not bring charges. Because we do not want to re-victimize the young woman, we will not be going into detail."

Freeman said that his office reviewed conversations and messages in Mandarin, with evidence including video recorded by officers' body-worn cameras between Liu and the woman inside her apartment.

"The substance of those conversations, along with all of the other evidence including statements from the woman and others, as well as footage from multiple surveillance cameras, do not support criminal charges in this case," Freeman said.

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