Business

JD.com founder will not be charged with sexual assault

Posted December 21, 2018 3:13 p.m. EST

— Minnesota prosecutors will not file sexual assault charges against Richard Liu, the billionaire CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com.

Liu, 45, had been arrested in Minnesota in late August on suspicion of rape. He was released without being charged and without having to pay bail. He returned to China soon after his release.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Friday that the months-long investigation by police and prosecutors found "profound evidentiary problems" that would have made it hard to build a criminal case.

"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."

Freeman said that as prosecutors reviewed surveillance video, text messages, police body camera video and witness statements, they realized they could not build a case.

"Because we do not want to re-victimize the young woman, we will not be going into detail," Freeman added.

"This confirms our strong belief from the very beginning that my client is innocent," Jill Brisbois, Liu's attorney, said in a statement. "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."

This is a developing story.