The chief executive of Chinese online retailer JD.com (AKA) Liu Qiangdong, was arrested in Minneapolis, MN on accusations of criminal sexual conduct
Regardless of whether there are criminal charges filed, Qiangdong may face trouble at the University of Minnesota.
Liu Qiangdong, one of China’s wealthiest people, was arrested and jailed at about 11:00 p.m. on Friday and released about 4:00 p.m. on Saturday from the Hennepin County Jail.
JD.com released a statement saying said Mr. Liu, also known as Richard Liu, was falsely accused. However, the Minneapolis Police say the investigation is open and that Liu has not been cleared. Minneapolis spokesman John Elder said his department is “actively investigating this case,” and further details should be released later this week.
Liu was permitted to return to China with the understanding that he could be returned to Minnesota if deemed appropriate. His passport was not seized.
The police have not released the underlying allegations of the complainant because the case is still being actively investigated. According to the Minneapolis Tribune, the “Financial Times reported that the case involves Liu and a Chinese student at the U. Liu is registered as a student in the U’s Carlson School of Management doctor of business administration. Liu was in the Twin Cities from Aug. 26 through Saturday as part of their residency.
OUR FREE OPINION
It is unclear whether Liu will be charged with a criminal offense in this case. It is not unusual in Hennepin County for a suspect to be released pending further investigation—especially in a high profile case such as this one.
It is reported that Liu is registered as a student at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management as a doctorate candidate. The university has strict rules regarding inappropriate sexual contact with other students (or anyone) while on the campus or elsewhere. If a complaint is waged the standard applied during a hearing is akin to probable cause (more likely then not) to determine whether the conduct took place. The complaining party need not attend the hearing, and hearsay evidence is allowed. If the allegations are proved by this standard, the student will not be permitted to participate in the school for a given period.
Liu’s company does business with Walmart, a company that has been under the gun where sexual harassment and assaults have allegedly occurred—the company is yet to release a statement. Of course, under the law, Liu is presumed to be not guilty in the criminal arena, but that presumption does not apply in the University setting.