SYDNEY, Australia — A Chinese language property developer was sentenced on Friday to 2 and a half years in jail for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old lady after they attended an unique ceremonial dinner on the Chinese language billionaire Richard Liu’s harborside penthouse residence three years in the past.
Mr. Liu, the founding father of JD.com, considered one of China’s largest and most profitable on-line retailers, was not accused of any wrongdoing on this case, however fought to stop the discharge of his identify in court docket proceedings, citing potential injury to his marriage and enterprise.
In keeping with court docket paperwork, the Chinese language developer, Longwei Xu, met his accuser, a mannequin, by way of a mutual acquaintance. On Dec. 26, 2015, the pair went to the occasion at Mr. Liu’s Sydney penthouse, the place the younger lady was advised to not take photos as a result of the proprietor is known in China.
“I keep in mind the proprietor didn’t pressure me to drink, however different males pressured me to drink,” the girl advised the court docket, including that she shortly grew to become intoxicated to the purpose that she couldn’t placed on her personal sneakers.
Mr. Xu, who additionally goes by the identify “Tommy,” then introduced the girl to the Shangri-La Lodge, the place he was staying, and repeatedly tried to have intercourse together with her in his room, officers stated. The mannequin stated “I don’t need this” a number of instances throughout the hourlong wrestle, and yelled for assist, in line with the prosecutor.
“When he tried to rape me, Tommy stated that he would purchase a ship for me, however I refused,” the girl stated throughout the trial by way of an interpreter. The lady additionally advised the court docket that she finally managed to get out of the mattress when Mr. Xu fell asleep.
Mr. Xu was discovered responsible of seven fees in July, together with having intercourse along with his accuser with out her consent. He has been in custody since July 23, in line with his lawyer.
“He maintains his innocence,” Winston Terracini, the lawyer stated. “An attraction shall be processed as quickly as attainable.”
Mr. Terracini added that he doesn’t perceive the media consideration round this case.
In a separate case, Mr. Liu, the Chinese language tech billionaire, was arrested in Minnesota on Aug. 31 on fees of sexual misconduct, however was launched pending a proper grievance.
Mr. Liu’s connection to the 2 circumstances has drawn appreciable consideration in China and past, offering a uncommon peek contained in the tycoon’s lavish life-style. Amid a wave of accusations happening in China, the circumstances are being mentioned by the general public by way of the lens of the #MeToo motion.
Following the discharge of Mr. Liu’s identify within the Australian court docket proceedings in July, a spokesman from his firm stated that Mr. Liu had “expressed his deep sympathy for the sufferer and profound disappointment in regards to the incident.”
Nevertheless, articles in regards to the case within the Chinese language information media subsequently disappeared, having turn out to be the obvious goal of censors.
The penthouse the place Mr. Liu hosted the ceremonial dinner was purchased for his spouse earlier than they wed in Sydney in 2015, in line with native media. Final 12 months, the couple tried to promote the residence, citing Australia’s distance from China as the explanation.