Shares of JD.com jumped 5.8 percent Friday after authorities in Minneapolis said they would not charge company founder Liu Qiangdong with sexual assault.
The decision lifts a considerable burden off Liu and JD, China’s second-largest e-commerce player.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said a “thorough investigation” had concluded “there were profound evidentiary problems which would have made it highly unlikely that any criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“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. As we reviewed surveillance video, text messages, police body camera video and witness statements, it became clear that we could not meet our burden of proof and, therefore, we could not bring charges. Because we do not want to revictimize the young woman, we will not be going into detail.”
Authorities said Liu participated in a program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management on Aug. 30 and went to dinner with a number of friends and associates, including a 21-year-old female student.
Liu eventually ended up back at her apartment near the university. After several hours, a friend of hers called the police, who took Liu back to his hotel and later arrested him, according to the timeline laid out by Freeman’s office.
Part of the investigation included video from a body camera worn by police who were called to the apartment.
“The substance of those conversations, along with all of the other evidence, including statements from the woman and others, as well as footage from multiple surveillance cameras, do not support criminal charges in this case,” Freeman’s office said.