AUSTIN, Texas (CN) — The man who provided blueprints for 3D-printable firearm parts on the internet was charged in Texas Wednesday with felony sexual assault for paying to have sex with an underage girl. Cody Wilson, 30, is believed to have fled to Taiwan.
The University of Texas law school dropout and self-described “crypto-anarchist” connected on SugarDaddyMeet.com on Aug. 15, where Wilson told the victim he was a “big deal,” then revealed his name and exchanged phone numbers with her, according to the affidavit for an arrest warrant issued Wednesday by Travis County Court.
After meeting at a coffee shop, Wilson took her to the Archer Hotel in Austin, where they had sex and he paid her $500 in cash, according to the affidavit from an Austin police detective.
One week later, the victim recounted the events to a counselor, who alerted police. Hotel records and surveillance footage from the coffee shop and hotel corroborate the girl’s story, Det. Shaun Donovan said in the affidavit.
Should he be captured, Wilson’s bond has been set at $150,000. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for the second-degree felony.
“We don’t know why he went to Taiwan, but we do know that before he left, he was informed by a friend of the victim that she had spoken to police and police were investigating him for having sex with a minor,” said Austin police Commander Troy Officer, whose press briefing was streamed on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.
Wilson skipped his planned return flight to the United States.
The United Daily News, a Taiwanese newspaper, reported Thursday that Wilson signed paperwork and began making payments to rent a house in northern Taiwan before the rental agency heard the news about his fugitive status. According to the article, the agency called the police, who are searching for Wilson so he may be transferred to the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Another local media outlet, the Taiwan News, reported Thursday that Wilson was last seen at a luxury hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Taipei. Wilson checked in on Sept. 6 and left Sept. 7, but agents from the National Immigration Agency are searching for him.
Taiwan and the U.S. do not have an extradition agreement, but the Taiwan News reports that a mutual legal assistance agreement exists that would allow the nation to deport Wilson to the States.
Wilson rose to national prominence after successfully firing a gun he’d created with a 3D printer in 2013. He incorporated a nonprofit “private defense firm,” Defense Distributed, in 2012. His project to create the “Wiki Weapon,” the first fully 3D printed gun, led Wired Magazine to name him one of the 15 “Most Dangerous People in the World” in 2012.
Defense Distributed sells completed lower receivers — the gun part that houses the firing mechanism and receives the barrel, stock and grip — and other hardware for do-it-yourself gun assembly.
The free site hosted blueprints for 3D-printing lower receivers and frames at home until a Washington judge ordered Defense Distributed to stop the practice in late August this year. As a workaround, Wilson began selling the software on USB drives.
“This judge’s order stopping us from simply giving things away was only an authorization that we can sell it, that we can mail it, that we can email it, that we can provide it by secure transfer,” Wilson said at an Aug. 28 news conference. “I am doing all of those things.”
Nineteen state attorneys general and the District of Columbia sued Wilson and Defense Distributed to try to keep the blueprints off the internet.
The U.S. Marshals Service has put out a wanted poster and asks for anonymous tips at (512) 800-4213.
Between April 2016 through December 2017, Wilson donated at least $4,150 to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, according to records kept by the Federal Election Commission and catalogued by the Center for Responsive Politics.