Silicon Valley startup founder, Vancouver native Brian Wong indicted on sexual assault charge

VANCOUVER, BC: April 9, 2010 — Vancouver born Brian Wong, the brains behind the successful launch of FollowFormation, an online social media tool, on Friday, April 9, 2010 in Vancouver. ( Glenn Baglo / PNG ) ( Gillian Shaw, VANCOUVER SUN ) [PNG Merlin Archive]

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Vancouver wunderkind Brian Wong, pictured in 2010 for a Vancouver Sun profile story.

By Sarah McBride

Brian Wong, co-founder of mobile advertising network Kiip Inc., has held a high profile in Silicon Valley since becoming one of the youngest people, at age 19, to receive venture capital funding for a startup.

Now he could become a cautionary tale.

Wong, a 27-year-old Vancouver native and UBC graduate at age 18, was indicted by a grand jury Friday on felony charges of sexual assault. The indictment stems from events during an evening at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas three years ago that Wong and his date remember very differently.

“Brian Wong is innocent of this three-year-old baseless accusation levelled against him,” Wong’s lawyer, Sam Bassett, said in a statement.

Wong maintains that the two met on the app Tinder and had a first date that ended in consensual sexual activity, and that on the second date “she falsely complained of this activity being non-consensual.”

“The evidence will show that Mr. Wong acted appropriately at all times,” Bassett said.

The situation marks the latest in a series of incidents that underscore the difficult environment for women in Silicon Valley. They include revelations this year over payouts to two executives at Alphabet’s Google who left in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations and a $10 million settlement last year of harassment and discrimination claims at Uber Technologies Inc., as well as troubling behaviour by venture capitalists at several firms.

In Wong’s case, the charges stem from an encounter with a young woman Wong had invited to meet with him in Austin in March 2016. The woman, a student at Rice University, drove 260 kilometres from Houston to join Wong at a party at Perry’s Steakhouse, according to an affidavit for his arrest warrant filed in January of this year.

Entrepreneur at 18: founder Brian Wong (from 2010)

The woman, given the pseudonym Samantha Luu in the affidavit, told police she drank half a …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – World

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