The sexual misconduct allegation against Richard Liu, founder and CEO of China’s e-commerce giant JD.com, has now been handed over for prosecution, according to a statement released by the U.S. Minneapolis police on September 20. This comes after local police’s preliminary investigation into the case has ended.
The transfer to prosecution indicates that it is the U.S. prosecutors who would weigh the evidence and decide whether Liu should be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or be faced with no charges, at which point the case would be closed. There is no deadline for making such a decision, according to Mike Freeman, attorney at the Hennepin County where Liu was arrested.
A statement of updates on Richard Liu’s case released by the Minneapolis Police Department.
Liu was previously booked into jail in Minnesota for alleged sexual misconduct on August 31 during his study at the University of Minnesota but was soon released without bail the next afternoon. Liu returned to mainland China shortly thereafter. The case reportedly involved Liu and another female student at the university.
The company and Liu have both denied all wrongdoings. The company said on Weibo that Liu was “falsely accused” shortly after the news of his arrest spread online.
Liu’s case has drawn widespread public attention, particularly in China. The share price of JD.com has since plunged, while several U.S. law firms have threatened class-action lawsuits against JD.com, contending that the company had failed to provide information pertinent to investors.
Liu, who is married to a 24-year-old Internet celebrity, Zhang Zetian, failed to keep his name out of another rape trial in Australia earlier this year.