CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — After hiring multiple private investigators and interviewing witnesses, lawyers for three alleged victims of a former UI professor say they’ve been unable to find the man they need to serve with a court summons.
Gary Xu, formerly the head of the UI’s East Asian Languages and Culture department, is the subject of a September 10 lawsuit that accuses him of using his position to take advantage of numerous young, Chinese students.
Since the suit was filed, lawyers for the victims say that multiple interviews with “witnesses familiar with” Xu and multiple private investigation firms have failed to produce Xu’s current location — meaning he hasn’t yet been served a court summons.
“Although rumors abounded about his whereabouts, including that he had fled to Philadelphia and to China, his location remains unknown,” a Friday court filing from the victim’s legal firm — New York-based McAllister Olivarius — reads.
As of Friday, there are 10 days left before December 9 — the court’s current deadline for the plaintiffs to serve Xu with a summons.
In the court filing Friday, lawyers requested the deadline be moved to January 8 so they could have more time to locate Xu.
According to the filing, Xu had been present at a house in Champaign as late as September 3; the house is listed under his ex-wife’s name and “upon information and belief, at least one of his two children still reside at the house.”
But on September 18 and “on five separate occasions through September 29,” a licensed process server attempted to serve Xu at that house before “an Asian female, believed to be Xu’s daughter, answered the door and told Bell that Xu no longer lived at the house, and she had no forwarding address.”
Eight “witnesses familiar with him” sat through interviews with the McAllister Olivarius but couldn’t produce a location; a Meyer Capel lawyer who formerly represented Xu also spoke with the firm but said “they had not had dealings with Xu in some time.”
And when the firm hired another private investigator in early October to find Xu, his current residence was still listed as in Champaign.
As of October 31, no forwarding address “has been obtained,” the filing says.
Xu is accused in an 87-page lawsuit of sex trafficking, rape, forced labor, gender violence and causing emotional distress, among other things.
All three victims — two former students and a professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut who publicized Xu’s alleged exploits — are seeking damages.
A call between the victims’ lawyers and the federal court in Urbana is set for December 6.