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Trial settlement reached for Chinese billionaire accused of rape in Minnesota

Richard Liu, founder of Chinese e-commerce site JD.com, was accused in civil court of sexually assaulting a U of M student. Terms of the settlement were not released

MINNEAPOLIS — Richard Liu is the founder of JD.com – sometimes referred to as the "Amazon of China."

Forbes Magazine says he's worth $12.3 billion dollars – making him one of the 200th richest people in the world.

In August 2018, Liu was arrested by Minneapolis Police after a University of Minnesota student accused him of rape.

Liu was in Minneapolis as part of a U of M-Carlson School of Management doctoral program. 

A program exec invited the 21-year-old to a dinner at an Uptown restaurant with Richard Liu and others.

According to civil court documents, the young woman said the billionaire coerced her into drinking there, came with her back to her apartment, then raped her.

Liu's side of the story was that the two had consensual sex.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman declined to file criminal charges – saying it was unlikely they could prove a rape case beyond a reasonable doubt.

So the woman sued Liu in civil court. 

A jury of 12 Hennepin County residents was set to listen to testimony and determine if the billionaire is guilty of sexual assault and battery in a trial being followed around the world.

But just before opening statements were scheduled to begin, Monday – the two sides settled.

In a statement released by both sides, they said they "agreed to set aside their differences, and settle their legal dispute in order to avoid further pain and suffering caused by the lawsuit."

They two sides did not disclose the terms of the settlement, including the amount of any financial payout, and the settlement terms may not ever be made public.

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